Dutch supermarket shelves go empty while farmers do exact opposite of their jobs and block our food

Farmers have continued to protest by blocking supermarket distribution chains and honestly, we’re just kinda done.

Remember those empty supermarket shelves during the great pasta/rice/toilet paper shortage of March 2020? Yeah, the flashbacks hurt us too.

In the latest episode of “What have the farmers done in their quest to protest Dutch government climate measures,” supermarket shelves are running dry on dairy and vegetable products, reports NOS.

That means no cheese for the kaas-loving Dutchies — s*** is getting real.

(Also, we thought farmers existed to help us get food, but okay?)

Wasting away

Now supermarkets are warning that millions of euros of food could go to waste if farmers don’t remove their blockades and LET US EAT CHEESE.

Research agency Roamler has identified that the empty shelves are not being seen across the country, and that where shelves are running empty customers are also hoarding stock, stretching the problem further.

To be fair, municipalities are trying to step in. In Nijkerk, Gelderland, an emergency regulation has been issued.

Three Overijssel mayors have also “made requests” (a.k.a asked nicely) for the farmers to end their blockades, but failed to mention any consequences if the farmers refuse.

Have you experienced empty supermarket shelves in recent days? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Samantha Dixon
Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺https://gallivantations.com
Sam has over six years experience writing about life in the Netherlands and leads the content team at DutchReview. She originally came to the Netherlands to study in 2016 and now holds a BA (Hons.) in Arts, a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and (almost) a Masters in Teaching. She loves to write about settling into life in the Netherlands, her city of Utrecht, learning Dutch, and jobs in the Netherlands — and she still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike (she's learning!).


  1. This situation is NOT the making of the Farmers. It is the climate activists who want to punish farmers for being farmers. These Climate Criminals want farmers to grow their crops without fertilizers so we can have yields of less than a quarter what we have now and no insecticides because, you know, Aphids, Worms and Nymphs are cute. These Climate Fraudsters will never be happy until their least demand is met. Meanwhile, Farmers get blamed because they, being FARMERS, are not allowed to farm as they know best and have been doing for ages. Let Farmers Be Farmers!

    • If you pollute the environment enough so that those cute Aphids, Worms and Nymphs suffocate to death, you’re going to have a lot less to feed your animals with. Plants don’t pollinate themselves, you know.

      When the bees are gone, humans will soon follow.

      Maybe it’s time to keep up with the changing world and innovate rather than complain.

    • Glen the farmers should comply for the people to then strike food is expensive later lol. Already most are not even buying the organic products. More the commercial products because its cheap. Change comes with cost and government here feels they should choke people with their policies without really helping them first and heloing doesnt comprise in giving handouts etc but ensuring that the transition fromreduce nitrogen and CO2 is not harming their pocket. They cannot t push for change if they cant help farmers transition properly. Other parts of the food chain is not suffering at all. Its not all about aphifs and such being cute lol. It is more in the harm it has on both the environment and our health. It is an issue but the way the policy being implied to the farmers are harsh. They basically forcing them just to reach a target goal they have for 2030 of Food to Fork! Smh. Farmers should consider reducing harm to the environment and human health, I get that but forcing it to happen in a short amount of time leads to strieks like this. Convince the farmers of the benefit they will gain consistently not force.

      • In our lifetime huge parts of the earth will become uninhabitable. Those people will want to move, farmers in Holland produce huge amounts of pollution and are making things worse, it isn’t a surprise, this isn’t news that just appeared, they have had time to make changes but opted for making more money instead, the EU all agreed to legal requirements to limit emissions and pollution, so what did they think was going to happen? Everyone else would drop their emissions while farmers did whatever they wanted ? Dutch farmers don’t just supply food to NL they are shipping potatoes to Malaysia for instance, completely pointless money making.

    • The Netherlands produces more food than almost any other country in the planet, the farmers are making huge sums of money at the expense of the Dutch environment, they can’t just keep polluting because they are used to making a lot of money, everyone else is making sacrifices they need to too.

  2. As annoying and irritating as it is that there might be fresh produce shortages, I stand by the farmers. They need to stand up for themselves because what government is doing to them is just ridiculous.

  3. “Also, we thought farmers existed to help us get food, but okay?” Farmers exist because they are people. They are not your servants.

    • Facts! No pesticides I get it but what is the alternative they gave the farmers? I support their strike infinity percent. This writer is demanding, write instead why they do this in the first place not because you see empty shelf that you can’t get groceries. There is more to what they are doing. The message is clear. You need ___ farmers to eat sweetheart so support or bye felicia!

  4. I am a food broker in Kansas City USA, I believe there is an effort across the globe to weaken our food supply chain. I believe our media is behind the lack of information being sent out. There have been over 50 different mishaps to different sectors of the food supply chain in the USA. All are not being reported.

    I see all of this first hand. Fertilizer will be a big component in the coming year. Save your money, you will need it.

    • That’s rough. Fertilizers have always been an issue. After all, the Monsanto issue with fertilizers and GMO crops made a span of negative convos across the globe. Now there are research being made to reduce nitrogen provided into the soil or to the plant. I am currently doing research on this for my internship-the alternative approach is being studied but I guess not fast enough (well it can’t happen overnight either lol) . I agree in reducing pesticides; the horticultural farmers are not affected so much because there are currently bio-pesticides that will reduce harm to the eco-system including our health than the use of normal pesticides but the major problems here are for the animal farmers that are having the worst time as the policy (ies) being place is/are aiming at “reducing CO2” and reducing meat consumption in the Netherlands. I’m not sure if that is the same for the US. Besides, the farmers make way less than the rest of the food supply chain but have to put more work and talk about the demand of the supermarket or lets say consumers so us. If we want good looking fruits well hello, it takes time, money, and labor to get those done. I believe if the farmers starts to charge higher prices for the food the consumers want and need, a whole strike will still be done. Look at biological products in the supermarket, they are sold way less than those commercial ones. I wonder why?! Lol Its expensive. So no one should expect farmers to change overnight. It is so important now for consumers to go to where their food are being grown and the process to see what the farmers go through. Then one can really have something to say.

  5. Consistent behavior of farmers not wanting to change and improve, but always ready for the handouts and subsidies. Get with the times!! Improve! Our society has been through 2 years of collective mental stress, we don’t need this.

    • Farmers have changed all the time. forced toctake on masive loans to keep doing there work and increase production to pay of these politic imposed loans. Now the politics just kill the farms with no money returned. So I hope the farmers charge the cost back in a year to get out off debt. And you will have full shops but an empty bank account and the Netherlands will be back to stone age. the Utopia of the green cave people

  6. This article is a joke. “we” are kind of done? We Dutchmen are done with those who are trying to destroy everything our ancestors built up and what generations have been trying to preserve: our beautiful countryside.

    Do you know who we have to thank for our Dutch heritage? The farmers.

    You do not even understand that 80% of the Dutchmen support the farmers. So “we” aren’t done with them at all.
    Please read into the country you want to live in and try to get a better understanding of its history and its fundamentals in general if you want to form an opinion about it.

    • this remark kind of done shows how the general public is misled by these politic and ways of thinking. It is Ok for you to be forced of your land, left with a miljion or in debt. We just import cheap, uncontroled, pesiside laitend food from some where else but we do not want to be forced to just buy what is availible because you are being socialistic forced out of work and liflyhood.
      When shops go empty in the future then we will lay down and praise our great leaders to be handed out some food and give all our belongings to them.

  7. 1. Farmers are not your servants.
    2. People saying farmers don’t want to change and improve have no clue of the investments they have had to make over the years. They have every right to be angry as they are the industry that is most heavily targeted by new laws and regulations. Which aren’t effective. They just want a chance to do their job and supply for their family. Just like you do.

    • 3. farmers should charge more to write of the losses in a year and go abroad and charge even more for export to dumb Netherlands for running them out.
      4. plenty off countries to choose from. Only stay clear of socialist, western, and one religion countries.

  8. This articles oozes privilege. The farmers fight for the existence of their job, land and homes. Without them the world would see empty shelves more, given the Netherlands is the #2 food exporting country in the world. Go farmers!

  9. If you wish to continue eating, you had better stand with your farmers. Government is not your friend, and history proves this in countries where farmers are displaced in favor of ignorant bureaucrats who have no knowledge of how to grow food and want to implement 5 and 10 year “plans”. Sound familiar to anybody who was around to witness starvation in the old Soviet Union or in Rwanda or more recently Sri Lanka?

  10. Corrupt politicians across the world are also not doing their job as they should represent our best interest.

  11. Wow, Samantha! Privileged much???
    These farmers are not your slaves. Here’s a thought. What if all of them just — stopped working? And all the truck drivers — stop driving? Maybe show some respect for your neighbors and the workers of this great country instead of your overlords in Brussels!

    “If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders – What would you tell him?”

    I…don’t know. What…could he do? What would you tell him?”

    To shrug.”

  12. 60% of produce is exported from the Netherlands. Let that sink in.

    60%!!!!! So to all the farmer’s comments on this page, please understand where the rest of the world is, we need less cows. Period.

    And as long as in a democratic society what you do affects the other, there’s an issue. We are not responsible for the situation, it’s about time you find a way of not mess up an entire country because you don’t want to accept that the world is changing.

    Wake up! If it wasn’t this now, farmers would be asking for subsidies in a few months time, when meat is taxed higher and people stop buying it anyway. Or the fact that everyone is moving to drinking plant based milk bcs of all the allergies etc that come from animal milk!

    And for those saying “farmers don’t work for us”, well than I guess they don’t need hundreds of cows anyway and don’t need the business to continue after all! Great to know!

    With a food crisis happening in the world due to the war in Ukraine, we see the farmers true colours when doing these protests. Shame on that.

    And shame on everyone here making the issue of sustainability a media problem. What a bunch of uneducated group! But then again, that’s just rural Netherlands. Redneck wannabes.

  13. Hm, this viewpoint is ridiculous. No explanation why farmers are protesting – just annoyed response. I am aware that farmers are destroying nature in the Netherlands and causing massive nitrogen imbalance (i know people who are on the municipality projects aiming at the nitrogen reduction + driving through the Netherlands requires a gas mask, it STINKS) but there is always a much more complex reason for the current situation.
    Farmers are not our servants, they are just trying to earn their bread.

  14. The audacity…. our extravagant consumption trends are part of the reason farmers face issues trying to feed the world so how bout you do your research first before throwing ash?

  15. Samantha, if you’re going to write empty fluff pieces like this pls say you’re from somewhere else; I’m an Aussie and this is embarrassing. Dutch farmers are amongst the most efficient in the world. If they don’t produce it, less efficient producers will, ie higher cost & more ghg per tonne of product. Net effect = opposite of the global goal. Equivalent for Aust is high quality coal. It saves ghg, being used instead of lower quality coal. Stopping supply is not the way to go, demand reduction is key. Economic understanding is vital. Ideological zeal leads to disaster; read some communist ag production/famine history if you don’t believe me.


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