Occupation of Bolloré's vineyards: land to men and women farmers!

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The action was meant to denounce land grabbing by financiers who, in France and globally, are doing business with farmland
Confédération paysanne | 5 June 2018 [FR]

Press release

Occupation of Bolloré's vineyards: land to men and women farmers!

Seventy activist farmers of the Confédération paysanne, including national spokesperson Laurent Pinatel, came from all over France to occupy the "La Croix Valmer" vineyard of Vincent Bolloré in the Var, southern France. The action was meant to denounce land grabbing by financiers who, in France and globally, are doing business with farmland.

In Cameroon and elsewhere, Bolloré, who has interests in more than 400,000 hectares, is shareholder of a major palm oil producer which is evicting farmers and depriving them of their land. The Confédération paysanne decided to occupy the land of the French business magnate since he, too, has grabbed nearly 250 hectares of vineyard in the Var while local farmers, especially the youth, have enormous trouble finding land and going into farming.

In Provence, the price of vineyards has more than tripled, from 20,000 to 70,000 Euros per hectare, in the past few years. Several domaines have passed into the hands of wealthy investors: stars, big businessmen, British billionaires, Russian oligarchs, rich entrepreneurs.... The price of farms producing rosé has grown tenfold in ten years -- a reality that is disconnected from the actual profitability of the farms, which is around two to five per cent per year.

In the Var, where farming focuses on wine production, one or two vineyards changes hands each month: this means that cooperatives and peasants are under threat. The public authorities are doing nothing to contain this speculation.

For the Confédération paysanne, it's time to address this land grabbing which is hurting people's capacity to set up farms, especially young people, and threatening jobs and territories. Land has to go, as a priority, to those who work it and need it to live. It has to allow more and more farmers to go into farming -- not become more concentrated in the hands of a few people who don't need it. It had to be protected from financialisation.

In Africa, small farmers who are being robbed of their access to land, which would allow them to work and to live, are filling the ranks of migrants squeezed into boats, many of whom drown in the Mediterranean. Those who manage to survive the journey, meet walls and barbed wire set up by European states. This, too, is the reality of land grabbing that fuels the financialisation of agriculture.

Contacts :

- Laurent Pinatel, Spokesperson : +33 6 80 58 97 22
- Christine Riba, National secretariat : +33 6 07 02 25 42
- Caroline Nugues, Communications officer : +33 6 95 29 80 78

(translation by GRAIN)
Original source: Confédération paysanne
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