Farmers “work hard and earn little”

A new survey by the Flemish Information Centre for Agriculture (VILT) says that Flemings think that although our region’s farmers are working hard for a relatively low return, they are complaining far less than was the case a decade ago. Every five years VILT carries out a survey among Flemings to find out what they think about farmers and the agricultural industry in general.

For the third time running, the survey reveals that the general impression Flemings have about farmers has improved. For example the popular perception that farmers are always complaining is much less prevalent than it was 10 years ago.

Recent protests by farmers have clearly helped swing public opinion. A growing number of people are of the opinion that farmers have it tough. "They have to work hard and earn too little.” Around half of those questioned feel that farmers don’t get a fair price for their produce.

Another interesting conclusion from the survey is that organic farming isn’t seen as being better for heath and the environment. The idea that all farming should become organic is also losing ground.

Food safety remains an important issue. Food wastage is also a concern with 90% of those questioned saying that it is unacceptable that fruit and veg are thrown away for aesthetic reasons.