Greenpeace determines 70% of Belgian pork and poultry comes from “mega-farm” operations
Share article:
Share article:

Greenpeace determines 70% of Belgian pork and poultry comes from “mega-farm” operations

© Belga
© Belga

According to a report by Greenpeace on Tuesday, Belgium is the European Union (EU) country which has recorded the greatest increase in “mega-farm” operations in the period 2004-2016.

The environmental protection group calculates that no fewer than 70% of pigs and 72% of chickens raised are from these vast operations, themselves the largest beneficiaries of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies. 

“Europe is in the process of losing its farms. Between 2005 and 2013, 3.7 million farms ceased to exist,” states Greenpeace, using Eurostat data. However, the size of operational farms follows the opposite trend. In 2013, 72% of “livestock units” raised in the 28 EU countries came from farms with a turnover in excess of €100,000. 

“Mega-farms”, with an annual turnover of more than half a million euros, witnessed a “genuine boom”, especially in Belgium. In 2016, the country had 4,120 of them out of a total of 28,730 farms. 

Greenpeace assesses that in the same year, 70% of pork meat came from these mega-farms, or 41% more than in 2004. As regards poultry, the increase reaches 45%, with 72% of chickens produced by intensive farming. In the case of milk, production was limited by quotas through to 2015, but all the same, the increase is significant, with a growth from 3% to 25% of both milk and milk products from mega-farms in 12 years.  

Greenpeace argues, “The current European agricultural policy is encouraging these economies of scale. At the current time, the bias of the CAP is increasing every year towards the rearing sector, by between €28.5 billion and €32.6 billion – between 18% and 20% of the EU’s total annual budget.” 

We might say that through this, around €600 million is ploughed into Belgian agriculture every year, said the environmental protection organisation. However, only a fraction of this money goes into small-scale and eco-friendly agriculture, with the largest share being earmarked for mega-farms, it added.

Last week, a study ordered by Greenpeace Belgium at the University of Louvain (Louvain’s French-speaking Catholic University) calling for the reduction in the livestock reared by Belgian stock breeders, had provoked an angry response from the Walloon Federation of Agriculture (the FWA). In particular, the FWA regretted Greenpeace not placing greater emphasis on the specific aspects of Walloon stock rearing, itself far more family-based than in Flanders.

The Brussels Times 

Latest news

Mayor wants to close two Brussels bars where alleged sexual assaults took place
Ixelles' Mayor Christos Doulkeridis (Ecolo) said that he’d like to close the two bars that employed a man accused of raping multiple patrons, ...
‘Untenable’: Mayor says situation at Brussels North station is out of control
The situation at Brussels North Station is no longer tenable, Schaerbeek's mayor Cécile Jodogne (Défi) says. Drug dealing, homelessness, ...
Suicide second-leading cause of death among European youth
Suicide is the number two killer among young people living in Europe, a recent Unicef report on the state of their mental health found. The ...
‘Too little, too late’: Brussels mayors criticise CST implementation
After a two week delay, the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will become mandatory in several situations in Brussels from today (Friday). Some mayors blame a ...
Sciensano expert warns of rising Covid-19 cases this winter
The return of colder weather and the relaxing of health measures are giving rise to new Covid-19 contaminations and hospitalisations around Belgium, ...
Hospital food is making you sick, Belgian study shows
Eating hospital meals results in a measurable decline in health, according to a report from the Flemish television network VTM, which paints a ...
Belgium in Brief: Supply Issues
There are few things more jarring than walking into a store and finding that the shelves are empty, be that partially or otherwise. One thing ...
Stolen Magritte painting on display for first time in ten years
Surrealist painter René Magritte's work "Olympia", which made headlines across the world when it was stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2009, will be ...
Brussels airport pilots ’15 minute’ PCR test
Brussels Airport has announced that it will soon begin a trial of an ultra-fast PCR test able to detect Covid-19 in 15 minutes, a far faster ...
Over 1,000 demonstrators march in Brussels following sexual assault allegations
Around 1,300 people gathered in Ixelles on Thursday night to march against sexual violence, according to reporting from Bruzz. The march was ...
Covid Safe Ticket mandatory in Brussels, but no fines yet
The Brussels-Capital Region will expand the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) from today (Friday), but it will take a few days before rule-breakers ...
Belgium hosts ‘farewell party’ for Merkel today
Angela Merkel will be in Belgium on Friday for an official visit as a symbolic "farewell" before leaving her position as German Chancellor after 16 ...