Dutch farmers want to switch to climate-friendly methods

There is a strong desire among Dutch farmers to reform the agricultural sector so that it uses climate-friendly methods, according to an opinion poll among Dutch farmers by Geleen Consultancy on behalf of newspaper Trouw.

The researchers asked farmers about their own welfare, the current agricultural sector and their ideas for the future. Only 6 percent of respondents said they currently work organically. But over 80 percent said they want to switch to climate-friendly methods. 

Half of the respondents said that they want to switch to a sustainable form of farming within the next 10 years. According to the farmers, this is not only less harmful to the environment, but also economically stronger. Three quarters said they are willing to cooperate with critical green organizations to achieve the change. 70 percent said they no longer find it acceptable that nature is under pressure due to intensive agriculture and livestock farming. They believe that the focus should no longer be on export, but on farming in cooperation with nature.

The poll also revealed that farmers are still proud of their profession, but do not feel understood by the outside world. Three quarters said that their profession was more attractive two decades ago. More than half of the farmers said they've been depressed about the future of his or her business. 

Trouw presented the results of this poll at the start of the National Agriculture Debate, in which the future of the agricultural sector will be discussed. Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture plans to present a new vision on agriculture this summer.