A farmers' protest at an Albert Heijn distribution center near Zwolle on Friday stopped supplying at least 230 supermarkets. The supermarket chain expects that customers in the north-east of the Netherlands will not be affected by this on Friday, but the effect will certainly be felt on Saturday.
It is not clear to what extent residents of Overijssel, Drenthe, Groningen and part of Gelderland will be affected by the reduced supply. According to a spokesperson, it depends on how quickly the work can be started, as soon as the blockade is lifted in its entirety.
Farmers received an ultimatum from the Zwolse mayor Peter Snijders. The farmers were present on the site early on Friday morning and must have left Snijders before 1.30 pm. In consultation with NU.nl, the municipality confirms that farmers seemed to be leaving around that time.
According to Snijders, farmers hindered "a vital social function in the region". Albert Heijn said in a short response that the supermarket chain understands farmers' concerns, "but actions at distribution centers are not the right way."
Images on social media showed dozens of tractors blocking the road for as many trucks. As a result, they could not enter the site to be supplied.
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Farmers protest against cattle measure
The farmers are protesting against the new cattle feed measure of Minister Carola Schouten (Agriculture) and fairer prices for their products, reports foreman Mark van den Oever of Farmers Defense Force. He was in contact with the protesters, but his organization was not involved in the demonstration.
During the last week, protests were made almost every day against the proposal to limit the amount of added protein in animal feed. According to Schouten, this would help to reduce nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands, but farmers argue that the measure endangers animal welfare.
According to regional media, farmers have blocked the distribution center in Zwolle several times in recent weeks. A spokesman for the activists reports in conversation with RTV Oost that farmers from Germany also support the protest this time.
See also: Seven questions about seven days full of (new) peasant protests