Farmers back new nitrogen plan, but don’t trust government to carry it out


Members of farming lobby group LTO Nederland have given the new approach to dealing with nitrogen based pollution drawn up by cabinet mediator Johan Remkes a score of 5.8 out of 10 but say they do not trust the government to carry out his recommendations.

‘Remkes is correct in saying there is a real crisis of confidence between the cabinet and the farming sector,’ chairman Sjaak van der Tak said. ‘His advice offers a cautious way in to restore trust, but I do understand that farmers have doubts.’

Farmers are also divided about Remkes’ recommendation that 500 to 600 highly polluting companies – farms as well as other industries – are closed down immediately if they are located in environmentally sensitive areas.

The main issue for members, the LTO said, is the one year deadline which, farmers say, is impossible. Remkes said closure should be voluntary, but did not rule out compulsory purchase orders if necessary.

LTO researched the opinions of a representative group of 2,500 of its members.

Remkes, who was drafted in to mediate following this summer’s farmers’ protests, said that closing down major producers of nitrogen was the ‘lesser of two evils’ and was crucial to meet legal requirements. ‘Measures have been delayed for so long that there is no other way,’ Remkes said at the presentation of his report.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation