We previously had a Groningen ‘Henk’ on agriculture. Henk Bleker. We remember him as someone who went through the china shop like an elephant. He rigorously put a stop to plans by nature-minded officials and with that a lot of bad blood. But he also pushed the nitrogen issue, which was already common at the time, to himself. In doing so, he created the problems we now face. The legacy of Bleker’s only two years on Agriculture and Nature therefore continues for a long time. Have we as farmers really been helped by this?
Now another Hank. Henk Staghouwer is not without controversy. As a deputy in the province of Groningen, he has caused quite a few issues in recent years. From shifting 600 hectares of agricultural land to industry to sending a ‘desired letter’ to the Ministry of Economic Affairs upon request. And then there was also that broken-in door and knocked-down fences at ‘his’ provincial house during an LTO action.
Staghouwer is actually a director who does not very much fit the profile of a Christian Union director. He is a man of weighing up interests and making decisions, even when the consequences are painful. Could that be because he is from Groningen?
Staghouwer is a director who does not fit very well into the profile of a Christian Union director. He weighs interests and makes decisions.
Perhaps it is also necessary for LNV such a kind of minister. Someone who will also carry out the course that has been set. Does what its task is: to implement the intended policy, which has been established in a democratic manner. Even if it involves choices that some of the farmers and some of the politicians will be vehemently opposed to. As farmers, we wanted clarity, right?
The opposition to Staghouwer is already heating up. The BoerBurgerBeweging put an extensive on the evening that the appointment was announced critical piece about Staghouwer on their website. I must confess that I am getting a little BBB tired. Where Caroline van der Plas’s sound was refreshing before, she now uses stings such as ‘we are doing better in the polls’ against Tjeerd de Groot, and the umpteenth time that they are statements from his time at the Dutch Dairy Organization. drags along. What answers does the BBB actually have to the current problems of the agricultural sector? We have heard often enough that ‘our agricultural sector is great’.
The duo John Spithoven and Jan Cees Vogelaar are also ready to immediately mow down every constructive step of the sector together with the Ministry of LNV. Logical, because by constructively contributing to a solution, they become invisible and no longer have a position.
Therefore from this place at the beginning of 2022 a call. Farmers, let’s start over with Staghouwer. Let’s do our part to restore confidence instead of reinforcing mistrust! Also the agricultural media. Let us not intensify the internal divisions and exacerbate it further. Let’s put the importance of one voice and progress on the content above our own profiling and opinion. Even if it hurts. Solutions to big problems are seldom without pain, and gentle healers make foul-smelling wounds. Let’s put our shoulders to the wheel to make the best solutions a reality. And not just for the agricultural sector, but solutions that do justice to all interests. So that together we can get out of dead ends and towards a vital future-proof sector. Even if that means with 20 or 30% fewer animals.
I wish you all a prosperous 2022!
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Two Groningen Henken – Help Staghouwer clean up Bleker’s legacy – Foodlog