THOUSANDS of rural protesters have taken to the roads from Ballater to Bordeaux in a call to support food production and their way of life.

In Scotland, for the second week, protests have kicked off in the Cairngorm National Park, with farmers and land managers criticising the Scottish government’s rural policies, arguing that the green agenda is set to ‘bankrupt the industry.’

Seventy people attended the protest in Ballater, with 20 tractors filling the streets of the Royal Deeside village. Local farmer Sandy Tulloch, who was at the event, described it as ‘the culmination of people being sick to the back teeth of being pushed into a corner. Enough is enough.’

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Commenting on the rally, rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “I have made absolutely clear that producing food is a key priority for the Scottish Government. One of the core aims of our Vision for Agriculture in the future is to meet more of our own food needs sustainably and we know the contribution that farmers in the Cairngorms area and else.”

Meanwhile, down in London, a crowd of scarecrows was placed outside the Houses of Parliament in a symbolic protest calling for greater fairness in the supply chain. The event was backed by the #GetFairAboutFarming campaign, which has 110,000 signatures urging government changes.

At the event, fruit and veg grower Guy Singh-Watson warned that a recent survey stated almost half of businesses in his sector worry they will be bust within the year. Mr Singh-Watson slammed the big six supermarkets that are yet to engage with the campaign, saying retailers only care about ‘keeping their shelves stocked and pockets lined all year round.’

READ MORE | Furious French farmers take to the streets of Toulouse

Across the channel in France, thousands of farmers are blocking roads and motorways in a challenge to President Macron to take action on excessive financial charges, unfair environmental protection rules, tax increases on non-road-use diesel, and insufficient prices for produce.

Speaking exclusively to The Scottish Farmer, Lionel Monier, a Saler cattle breeder from the Auvergne region, said: “For us, it is administrative overload from the government and imports of cheaper meat and with fewer or even no standards. Also, the increase in the cost of energy scares us, including electricity and non-road diesel.”

Further east in Romania, farmers are blockading imports from Ukraine, which have been depressing prices in the local market. Despite assurances from the Romanian government to increase subsidies to agriculture and to extend low-interest loans, protests continued, with 1100 trucks waiting to cross.

Finally, thousands of farmers were left disappointed in Berlin as German finance minister Christian Lindner address a rally of 10,000 and refused to open the public coffers. She stated: “I can’t promise you more state aid from the federal budget. But we can fight together for you to enjoy more freedom and respect for your work.”