WHES2016 – Making (Radio) Waves in Ireland

“Increasingly, its about small to medium sized family farmers and environmentalists coming together to work together, who realise that they have a lot more in common than they have separate”

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ARC2020’s Oliver Moore was on a very popular radio show in Ireland over the weekend. Countrywide has a 200,000 listeners and is Ireland’s main farming radio programme. The annual Wir Haben Es Satt (WHES2016) protest and series of events was the spur for this early morning appearance.  Oliver briefed the Irish audience on the background to the event and what’s special about it.

As well as the sounds of samba, chanting and tractors at the outset, Benny Haerlin of Save our Seeds and Meine Landwirtschaft spoke extensively on the broad coalition that gathers for WHES and what they are fed up with.

screengrab of the radio  shows website
screengrab of the radio show’s website

CAP policy – then and now – and especially the ignorance of current EU agri commissioner Phil Hogan were highlighted, and then emphasised by Oliver after Benny’s softly spoken diatribe.

Presenter Damien O Reilly questioned whether it was fair for Phil Hogan, who inherited the CAP, to be blamed for its supposed failings.

Hogan’s relentless drive towards so called simplification was pointed to, by way of showing just how ideologically motivated is his evisceration of the green dimensions to Pillar ones greening.

Similarly, the collapse in farm numbers and incomes were highlighted – for Germany, that’s down from 700,000 to 280,000 in numbers since 1990, and down 40% in a single year in income.

In this context, a spotlight was shone on the existence of specific organisations in Europe to represent the interests of small family farms – ABL, Confederation Paysanne and the European Milk Board.

A simple question finishes the segment: can you imagine a teachers’ trade union arguing for policies that would guarantee a reduction in the numbers of teachers? So why does it happen in farming?

 Listen to the full segment of the show here and on soundcloud here


Article on WHES2016 by Oliver Moore