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Role Model Göttingen: Investor suggests that more small and medium-sized companies should join the farmer protests

 

Farmers’ protests: The future of the German middle class is at stake!

First things first: The protests also affect me and my company. I have been living in the Lower Rhine region for several years, surrounded by agricultural businesses. Some of my employees were late for work this morning despite having extra time, as they had to take long detours due to the blockades.

In the past few hours, I have also read social media posts calling for farmers to rather disrupt dairies, slaughterhouses, or discounters to draw attention to the crisis and demand higher prices. At first glance, this may seem more targeted. However, it’s only a superficial view. These are not the companies slowly taking away the basis of their existence from the farmers. They are simply passing down the pressure they receive from the top.

A clear signal is necessary

Some of you may recall that I am not a big fan of the actions of the climate adhesive activists. As an entrepreneur, I also find it unpleasant that employees are prevented from getting to their jobs. Families have additional stress getting children to school or daycare. Companies have to wait longer for urgently needed deliveries – or sick people for medication.

However, it is a completely different matter when climate activists from privileged backgrounds glue themselves to the streets or deface public buildings – or when farmers cause a blockade. Because here, it’s nothing less than their direct existence at stake. Increased energy costs, planned elimination of subsidies. To draw attention to this, a clear signal is needed. Scenes like the ones we are witnessing now are what our government hopefully cannot ignore. A blocked dairy does not interest anyone in Berlin. At least not as long as there are enough cartons on the supermarket shelf. It’s a different story when highway entrances are blocked nationwide and tractor convoys line up in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Food doesn’t grow in supermarkets

You’ve probably heard the joke about city kids going on a trip to the countryside for the first time and being surprised that cows are not purple. Although it’s funny at first, it emphasizes the massive problem we have in Germany. Hardly anyone thinks about where the food comes from that we casually put in our shopping carts at supermarkets.

I have respect for the people working in agriculture, as they put in hard work every day. Waking up at four o’clock every morning or earlier, physical labor until late in the evening – and neither the economy nor society appreciates it in any way. Instead, there is a constant demand for cheaper food. Milk, eggs, sausage, and other items are expected to be dirt cheap. No one considers that the farmers at the beginning of this supply chain also have costs that are becoming increasingly unbearable.

Role Model Göttingen: Small and medium-sized companies join the protests

It’s not just the entrepreneurs in agriculture who are facing these challenges. That’s why I can only support what is happening in Göttingen right now: There, the farmer protests are being joined by the middle class.

auch den Mittelstand erreicht. Unter den Demonstranten dort sind zumindest 40 Prozent Gewerbetreibende, die nicht in der Landwirtschaft arbeiten. Wir reden hier von Spediteuren, Heizungsinstallateuren, Zimmerleuten und Dachdeckern. Und das freut mich wirklich! Denn es handelt sich nicht nur um die Landwirte, sondern die kleinen mittelständischen Unternehmen aller Branchen, die am meisten unter dem Kurs leiden, den unsere Regierung verfolgt.

Während Großunternehmen bevorzugt und mit Krediten und Zuschüssen aus der Krise geholfen wurden, sind die meisten Mittelständler leer ausgegangen. Statt Corona-Unterstützung gab es bestenfalls ein aufmunterndes Schulterklopfen und ein “Wir schaffen das!”. Und jetzt? Fachkräftemangel, enorm hohe Energiekosten, gestiegene Material-, Rohstoff- und Transportkosten, sowie hoher bürokratischer Aufwand. Du musst kein BWL-Studium abgeschlossen haben, um zu erkennen, dass diese Rechnung nicht aufgehen wird.

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Viele Unternehmen in unserem Land bestehen seit vielen Jahrzehnten, einige sogar seit einem Jahrhundert oder noch länger. Sowohl in der Landwirtschaft, als auch im Handwerk oder in der Industrie. Wenn diese Leute gezwungen sind, zu verkaufen oder aufzugeben, ist das nicht nur das Ende eines etablierten Familienunternehmens. Sondern auch alles, was diese Leute über Generationen aufgebaut haben, geht dann verloren. Und das darf einfach nicht passieren. Weder in der Landwirtschaft noch in anderen Bereichen des Mittelstands. Denn wir kleinen mittelständischen Unternehmen sind das Rückgrat unserer Wirtschaft. Und falls es erforderlich ist, Straßen zu blockieren, damit diese Tatsache in Berlin endlich erkannt wird – dann lasst uns loslegen. 

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