Spokesman of the Farmers’ Confederation of the Var, Sylvain Apostolo, denounced on August 7th on Europe 1 a “fiscal injustice” and the influence of “agri-food groups” in the agricultural sector.
The anger of “Yellow Vests” is echoed in the farmer world. More and more farmers and agricultural workers have decided to follow the current national protest movement for greater purchasing power, such as the Farmers’ Confederation of Var. “We identify with this anger over tax injustice,” said its spokesman, Sylvain Apostolo, on August 7th at the microphone of Europe 1, live from Brignoles, in the center of the department.
“The greatest number of people are made to pay the tax exemptions that exist for the richest, or agribusiness groups for farmers,” he continued at the microphone of Matthieu Belliard. “We understand that fuel taxes are not environmentally friendly.”
“Logic of deregulation” in the agricultural world
And the union delegate then insisted that this average municipality of 17,000 inhabitants, poorly served by transport, in which one in five persons is unemployed, is isolated. “With the rail system, all the small lines are destroyed and we build a high-speed line that will eat 2,000 hectares of farmland in the Var for billions of euros,” said Sylvain Apostolo, sheep farmer in Cotignac, a small town located half an hour’s drive from Brignoles.
More specifically, the local Farmers’ Confederation is protesting against a two-speed agricultural system: “We farmers suffer from the same logic of deregulation and industrialisation that leads so many farms to the bottom of the chasm. All these measures that favour the industrialists, agribusiness groups, and big farms make us die,” wrote the federation in Var-Matin.
Sylvain Apostolo also reproached the government for a double discourse on the subject of ecology: “We have abolished subsidies for organic farming and we do not abandon glyphosate. There are words on the one hand, and deeds on the other, which are exactly the opposite.”
The “Fédération nationale des syndicats d’exploitants agricoles” is more moderate with its support for the “Yellow Vests”
Other departmental federations of the Farmers’ Confederation have decided to join the “Yellow Vests” movement, like the one in Drôme. “We give our departmental organisations the choice to join the movement of the FNSEA,” explained Laurent Pinatel, spokesman of the Farmers’ Confédération, to Le Figaro.
Another union in the sector, the FNSEA, is traditionally more moderate, ” itdoes not join the blocking carried out by the Yellow Vests movement,” said its president, Christiane Lambert, on Europe 1 on August 7th. The union will nevertheless mobilise next week to protest against the postponement of the ordinances of the food law.