Farmers’ lobby loses members
January 22, 2012
One of Norway’s most traditionally powerful lobbying organizations, the farmers’ group Norges Bondelag, has reported a decline in membership for the first time in several years. That hasn’t hindered record turnout at an international exposition in Germany, however.
Bondelaget, best known for pressing the government for huge subsidies and policies to protect Norwegian agriculture, had seen membership rise for seven years in a row to around 62,000 members . Last year, however, membership fell by around 600 members, reported newspaper Aftenposten last week.
Farmers’ leader Nils T Bjørke attributed the decline to “frustration” among farmers. The declines were largest in the counties of Nord-Trøndelag, Nordland and Finnmark. Membership rose, however, in Hordaland on the west coast, Buskerud, Østfold and Vestfold.
Bondelag members were out in full force over the weekend, along with Norway’s government ministers for agriculture, fishing and transportation, at the annual International Grüne Woche in Berlin, one of the world’s largest expositions for food and agriculture.
Visitors were treated to such items as moose burgers and pancakes with brown cheese as around 60 Norwegian firms promoted Norwegian products at the event, which runs through the week.
Views and News staff