Exploratory conversation between rural clubs and the cabinet: who sits at the table?

LTO Nederland will discuss nitrogen policy with a cabinet delegation today at 10.30 am. All aspects of the policy can be discussed, Prime Minister Mark Rutte stated in advance. Three hours are set aside for the interview. It has not yet been announced where the meeting will take place.

© Burt Sytsma Photography

The purpose of the meeting is to explore the options that can lead to a solution to the nitrogen problem. LTO Nederland talks about an exploratory conversation and does not expect an agreement to be reached. However, the organization expects the cabinet delegation to come up with an opening to smooth the deadlock.

Initially, LTO did not intend to accept discussion leader Johan Remkes’ invitation, as long as the government did not promise that serious discussions could be held about the purpose, time frame and implementation of the measures. Prime Minister Rutte has given Van der Tak ‘his word of honour’ that this condition for a first meeting has been met. A number of other representatives of the agricultural sector did not accept the invitation.

the speakers

Johan Remkes leads the conversation as mediator. The cabinet delegation consists of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Minister Christianne van der Wal for nature and nitrogen, Minister Henk Staghouwer for agriculture, nature and food quality and Minister Mark Harbers for infrastructure and water management. Harbers is included because he has water quality in his portfolio, and that may also be debatable.

LTO chairman Sjaak van der Tak takes a seat on the farmer’s side of the discussion table. The other agricultural organizations participating are Biohuis, Bionext, BoerenNatuur, Caring Farmers, Demeter, Federation of agro-ecological farmers, Sector Council Horses, Transition Coalition Food and Spatial Planning, Vereniging Agrarische Landschap Achterhoek.


Van der Tak also speaks on behalf of Agractie Nederland, Dutch Dairymen Board, Farmers Defense Force, Dutch Able Farming Union, Dutch Union of Poultry Farmers and Producers Organization Pig Farming. These organizations say they do not trust the ‘government-led consultation’ with Remkes. Nevertheless, LTO Nederland will speak to Remkes on their behalf on Friday, as a representative of the joint agricultural organisations.

The LTO spoke with representatives of these organizations on Wednesday. They subsequently reported that they are on the same page regarding the content. The implementation was discussed. The parties involved then decided that the LTO would enter into the conversation on behalf of these farmers.

According to Mark van den Oever from the Farmers Defense Force (FDF), ‘hard agreements’ have been made about the LTO’s mandate in this connection. He also adds that he has confidence in LTO Nederland.

‘The results of the consultation have been reviewed, discussed and further steps are being coordinated’, the organizations state. The LTO has already promised to inform its own members as well. The organization is holding a webinar for members on Monday to discuss the state of affairs.


LTO Nederland’s approach is that the cabinet must adjust the nitrogen plans. This concerns, among other things, the time frame (now until 2030), the goals and the means, such as the use of broad innovation, lack of anchoring of the KDW method in the law and attention to the perspective. for agriculture..

The LTO finds it particularly important to let go of KDW because the organization believes that emissions should not be seen as deposition in the environment.


At a later stage, the cabinet will also hold talks with nature and environmental organizations and representatives of other economic sectors such as VNO-NCW and Bouwend Nederland.

The prosecution is also following the conversation closely. Gerrit van der Burg, head of the public prosecutor’s office, fears that there will be new unrest if the conversation does not yield results. This was said by the chairman of the prosecutor’s office in NPO on Thursday in NPO Radio 1. He appealed to the cabinet and farmers to solve the nitrogen problem.

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