French Farmers Seek to Reconnect Consumers to Their World
Farmer Jerome Regnault works on a windy day in his fields, just west of Paris. As he looks around the property, he can see it is very different than it was when his grandfather worked the same fields. Roads and housing developments are moving a lot closer. Technology and international markets are increasingly important to the success of his farm. French farmers like Regnault say they now have another concern: agri-bashing. Agri-bashing is the verbal criticism and sometimes even physical abuse of farmers.
Critics accuse them of harming the environment, animals and the health of other people. "It's become unsupportable," said Regnault. He has not personally been attacked, but knows of friends who have. He says that "worries over agricultural practices" do not justify people attacking farmers and their farms. As the yearly agricultural show in Paris opened last week, many farmers spoke about their sense of becoming victims. The show gives French children and their parents a chance to touch farm animals and reconnect with their agricultural past. A growing farmers'movement now wants to make that connection stronger.
Some farmers are putting videos on social media to explain what they are doing. Regnault and a group of farmers launched a telephone hotline for questions and concerns. "We realized that while farming had a negative image, farmers were seen in a positive light," he said. His group is called Ici La Terre (Here is Earth). Across Europe and on other continents, farmers are under pressure to increase their harvests to feed a growing world population for less cost. Many farmers are also under pressure because of climate change. Now, they are pushing back. In recent months, farmers and their machinery have stopped traffic in Germany, Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands, among other countries. They have protested such things as feared cuts in European Union aid to farmers, free trade deals and stronger environmental rules.
In France, officials have created pesticide safe areas around communities. They have announced plans to ban the herbicide glyphosate, which kills unwanted plants. Environmentalists say both measures fall short of what is needed. Farmers answered the environmentalists by leaving hay on a major road in Paris. French President Emmanuel Macron told farmers he would fight in support of the EU's assistance to farmers. He said the money will help them change to more environmentally friendly farming methods. "It's a policy of the future," Macron said. Yet some environmentalists say they, not farmers, are under siege. "We believe agri-bashing doesn't exist," said Marie-Catherine Schulz-Vannaxay. She is an agricultural expert for the group France Nature Environnement. She said that many farmers just do not like being criticized. For hundreds of years, agriculture controlled the French economy. Today, less than three percent of workers are involved with agriculture. About 20 percent of farmers live in poverty and their suicide rates are higher.
Some farmers are, in fact, changing. A new report finds about 10 percent of them are growing organic products. Organic farming and other issues are discussed on the farming hotline. Launched in September, Ici La Terre now counts 130 farmers. "We're not trying to convince people, just to explain what we do and exchange," Regnault said.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.because of 因为，由于
He didn't go to school yesterday because of the rain.
2.push back 抵制
But now, some are starting to push back.
3.trade deals 贸易协定
He also favours tougher standards on labour and the environment in trade deals.
4.be under pressure 在……压力下
They will now be under pressure to take bolder steps.
5.Critics accuse them of harming the environment, animals and the health of other people.
accuse sb of doing sth 因某事控告某人
He accused his boss of having broken his word.
He was accused of murder.
6.Agri-bashing is the verbal criticism and sometimes even physical abuse of farmers.
abuse of 滥用
What went on here was an abuse of power.
I think this is not the abuse of freedom.
一个叫杰罗姆·雷尼奥的农民在巴黎以西的田野里劳作，这里微风习习。当他环顾四周土地的时候，他的祖父也曾经在同一块地里干活 。与之前相比，此时他看到的是非常不同的景象 。道路修建和房产开发正在向田野的方向发展 。技术和国际市场对他的农场的发展越来越重要 。像雷尼奥这样的法国农民说，他们现在还有另一个担忧：对农业的打击 。“对农业的打击”是对农民的口头批评，有时甚至是身体虐待 。
批评人士指责他们破坏环境，危害动物和其他人的健康。“这已经变得不可忍受了，”雷尼奥说 。他本人没有受到批评，但知道他的朋友有受到批评 。他说，“对务农行为的担忧”并不能成为人们攻击农民及其农场的正当理由 。
上周巴黎一年一度的农业展览会开幕时，许多农民都谈到成为受害者是什么样的感觉。这个展览会让法国的孩子和他们的父母有机会接触农场的动物，重新了解他们农业的历史 。日益增长的农民运动现在也希望加强这种联系 。
一些农民在社交媒体上上传视频来解释他们在做什么。雷尼奥和一群农民开通了一个电话热线，以便别人咨询和回应关切 。他说：“我们意识到，虽然农业的形象是负面的，但农民的形象是正面的，”他的团队被称为“地球在这里” 。在欧洲和其他大陆，农民们面临着压力，要求他们增加收割量，以更低的成本养活不断增长的世界人口 。许多农民也因为气候变化而承受着压力 。现在，他们在抵制批评 。近几个月来，德国、西班牙、爱尔兰和荷兰等国的农民和他们的机械已经实行了交通管制 。他们抗议欧盟削减对农民的援助，自由贸易协议和更严格的环境法规 。
在法国，官员们在社区周围建立了农药安全区。他们已经宣布计划禁止使用草甘膦除草剂，因为会杀死不需要除去的植物 。环保人士说，这两个措施都达不到要求 。农民们在巴黎的一条主干道上留下干草来回应环保主义者 。法国总统埃马纽埃尔·马克龙告诉农民，他将为支持欧盟对农民的援助而战 。他说，这笔钱将帮助他们改变耕作方法以达到更加环保的目的 。“这是未来的政策，”马克龙说 。然而，一些环保人士声称是他们受到了围攻，而不是农民 。玛丽-凯瑟琳·舒尔茨-万纳克赛说，“我们认为，对农业的打击是不存在的 。”她是法国自然环境组织的农业专家 。她说许多农民只是不喜欢被批评 。几百年来，农业一直控制着法国经济 。今天，只有不到3%的工人从事农业 。大约20%的农民生活在贫困中，他们的自杀率更高 。
事实上，一些农民正在改变。一份新的报告发现他们中有大约10%的人在种植有机产品 。在农业热线上讨论有机农业和其他问题 。“地球在这里”团队组织于9月发起，目前有130名农民 。雷尼奥说：“我们不是想说服人们，只是想解释我们做了什么，交换了什么，”