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  Module 2 - Theses on the themes of the first sub-module                                         Content


Henk Jansen - Larenstein international agricultural college, Netherlands

Reasons for changes in Dutch agriculture:
      • Overproduction became too expensive
      • Market reversed from supply driven to demand driven
      • Increasing public concern on pollution
      • Consumers more critical on health of food
      • Consumer concern for animal welfare
      • WTO negotiations forced open world market

causes of overproduction
      • Increase in productivity due to research, extension, education, and improved technology; protected and guaranteed market (intervention prices); guaranteed prices pushed farmers to high investment and intensive production systems; animal production based on cheap import of feeds.

from supply driven to demand driven
      • Not all products and quality variations could be sold; the consumers wishes became the driving force; this turn-around happened extremely fast; perceived “quality” by consumers is often different from quality measured scientifically

concern for pollution
      • Increasing public concern for ecology and “nature”; agriculture was depicted as dirty and polluting: manure surplus and agro-chemicals affected water-air-flora-fauna.

consumer concern for health foods
      • Higher income made people spend low percentage of their income on food
      • this made consumers critical of food health aspects
      • it fits very well with the general trend of “health cult”

public concern for animal welfare
      • Intensive ways of animal production become increasingly unacceptable to the public;
      • consumers refused to buy certain products for emotional reasons.

WTO and open world market
      • Through other channels (WTO) EU market is forced open;
      • direct support to farmers is gradually phased out.