Agri-food industry industry urges Flanders to adapt nitrogen decree
The agri-food industry urged the Flemish parliament on Monday to amend the nitrogen decree that is currently on the table. The decree would have a "huge impact" that could lead to the loss of a third of jobs in the industry, they said.
Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon delivered his traditional September statement to parliament on Monday, outlining key policies and budget plans for the coming year.
One of the most contentious issues facing the Flemish government is how to curb nitrogen emissions from agriculture and industry. After months of divisive negotiations, a decree was submitted to the parliament in July.
Jambon's speech only briefly touched on the issue, as the decree is still awaiting advice from the Council of State. The agri-food industry nevertheless tried to draw attention to the issue with a playful demonstration near parliament.
Ahead of the September Declaration, industry representatives offered MEPs the dishes depicted in Pieter Brueghel's painting The Peasant Wedding. They claim that the proposed nitrogen decree threatens "a third of the jobs in the sector".
"This creates a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety on many farms and throughout the agri-food industry," they said. The industry is calling for the decree to be "urgently adapted" and for a socio-economic impact study to be carried out.
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