Protests boost sympathy for Flemish farmers, survey shows

There is widespread understanding of the farmers' protests in Flanders. The actions have had a positive impact on Flemish attitudes towards local agriculture. This conclusion is drawn from an online survey conducted between 9 and 13 February by iVox on behalf of the Flemish Centre for Agriculture and Fisheries Marketing (VLAM).

According to the online survey, a staggering 79 per cent of Flemish people support the protests. A further 62 per cent say that the actions have given them more insight into the complex situation of the farmers. A whopping 82 per cent express admiration for the farmers, compared to 75 per cent in the previous survey in May 2023.

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Three-quarters of Flemish people say it is essential for farmers to receive fair compensation. In addition, 75 per cent say all of us must buy more home-grown food. In May 2023, this figure was 67 per cent. The number of people who stress the importance of a solid domestic agricultural and horticultural industry is also increasing, from 80 per cent in May 2023 to 88 per cent today.

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Some 45 per cent of Flemings also say that the actions have impacted their behaviour, although only 37 per cent pay more attention to the domestic origin of products when shopping, and 13 per cent say that they buy more directly from farmers.

Limited disruption

The disruption experienced by people during the protests in recent weeks has remained limited. Some 32 per cent of the respondents noticed the demonstrations on the streets themselves, 27 per cent experienced a slight disturbance, and 7 per cent experienced a significant disturbance.

VLAM is an external agency of the Flemish government's policy area Agriculture and Fisheries. It promotes the products and services of the agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and agri-food sectors.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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