Theme: Public Policy | Content Type: Journal article

Farmer Protests and Income Developments in the EU

Alan Matthews


Stijn te Strake

| 1 min read

Farmer protests are currently taking place in many European countries. There are multiple motives behind these, but low prices and incomes are frequently cited. This can be hard to understand, as agricultural incomes in the past three years in the EU have reached their highest ever levels, largely the result of a decline in the number of farms and farmers. Farms are also very heterogeneous. Those farms producing the majority of agricultural output have the necessary scale to provide a decent income, but the majority of farms are not able to remunerate their labour input adequately. The continued existence of a productivity gap between farm and non-farm sectors suggests farm consolidation will continue, but stronger environmental interventions could ensure this process occurs in a sustainable way.

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    Alan Matthews

    Alan Matthews is Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy at the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Ireland.

    Articles by Alan Matthews