An important victory, although not all of their demands were met, the peasants continued several days of energetic demonstrations and blockades of the central highways, reaching the outskirts of Paris.
Today, the French Prime Minister, Gabriel Adal, announced a new package of measures to appease the farming movement, after which the leaders of the biggest unions called for the suspension of mobilizations and the removal of tractor blocks.
Arnaud Gillet, head of the Young Farmers' Union, spoke alongside the head of France's largest farmers' union, FNSEA: “We call on our members to suspend the blockades.”
“They listened to us on many points with concrete progress,” said Arnaud Rousseau, president of FNSEA, including urgent measures to financially support struggling farmers and winemakers.
Farmers have been protesting across the country for days against low wages, excessive bureaucracy and unfair competition from foreign countries.
According to representatives of trade unions, the government's announcements are generally considered satisfactory, however, as they noted, there are points that still need to be clarified.
Their condition is that the undertakings given by the government must be obtained in writing.
The New Farmers Union leader said he was in favor of other forms of mobilization.
France's prime minister announced a new series of measures, including suspending plans to limit the use of pesticides.
Attal promised during a press conference that the French government would allocate 150 million euros “from this year permanently” to measures to ease the tax and social burden on growers.
The French government will implement the suspension of a plan that sets targets to reduce the use of pesticides and has drawn the ire of major crop producers. The Ecophyto project has set a target of halving the use of pesticides by 2030.
“We will suspend the implementation of the plan while we review some issues and facilitate it,” promised Agriculture Minister Marc Penault alongside the French prime minister.
At the same time, Paris wants to ban imports into France of fruit and vegetables grown using the pesticide thiaclopride, which is banned in Europe.
Gabriel Adal called for a “clear European law to identify synthetic meat”, a product made from animal tissue cells.
In November, Italy banned the production and sale of artificial meat.
The French Prime Minister also requested that the issue of restricting Ukrainian grain imports to the European Union be included in the negotiations. The EU does not include cereals in the list of “sensitive” products that may be subject to import restrictions.
Gabriel Atal also promised to strengthen the current law that protects farmers' compensation in the face of a fierce price war between supermarkets on one side and agro-industrial distributors and suppliers on the other. “We want to be sovereign, sovereign in growing, sovereign in harvesting, sovereign in our food,” he said.
For his part, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced that “all major supermarket chains will be checked in the coming days”. “More than 10,000 tests will be carried out on products of French origin,” he said.
Meanwhile, violent clashes broke out between protesting European farmers and police in central Brussels today, who used water cannons to disperse them. At the same time, a summit of 27 EU leaders was underway.