Norwegian farmers launch bread blockade

Norwegian farmers went on strike on Tuesday morning, as they sought to keep bread off supermarket shelves by blocking entrances to mills across the country in protest against the collapse of agricultural policy negotiations at the weekend.

Starting their strike at 5am, farmers have said they intend to block deliveries of flour to the country’s four largest flour mills. These are located at Bjølsen in Oslo, Buvika in Trondheim, Skien, and Vaksdal near Bergen.

The striking farmers hope to force Norwegians to hoard bread and to keep baked goods out of stores.

“Norwegian food is not a given,” said Kjell Sølverød, head of the Telemark farmers’ union.

Along with eight other farmers, Sølverød made his way on Tuesday morning to the mill in Skien.

“We’re going to empty the stores of bread. Not to be unkind, but to highlight our grievances after the breakdown of agricultural negotiations at the weekend,” he said.

Talks collapsed after the government offered 900 million kroner ($152 million) in agricultural subsidies, way below the farmers’ demand of 2.2 billion kroner ($371 million).

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