ANew Brunswick director of the National Farmers Union in New Brunswick hauled a pig to town and slaughtered it at a local farmers’ market Dec. 5.
Jean-Eudes Chiasson, brought one of his pigs to market in Dieppe, where he set up signs in French, stressing the desperate circumstances now faced by family farmers. He then got into the back of his one-ton truck, killed his pig, and began to butcher it, while a few bystanders watched and members of the media recorded the event.
Several market vendors and regular customers expressed their solidarity with the action, according to an NFU release. Paul Gagnon, Dieppe market treasurer, approached Chiasson and shook his hand. The former pig farmer said the point of farmers’ markets is to bring the farm to the city and that’s what Chiasson was doing in the back of his truck.
Chiasson noted some remaining small-scale producers can survive by selling their products at farmers’ markets, but this is only helpful to those who are good at promoting themselves. “What is happening is we’re losing very, very good producers that are not good at marketing,” he said.
“People need a shock because they need to understand what’s happening in society right now. Farmers are going out of business,” he told the CBC.
Chiasson said a growing public demand for local food is helping. But he believes farmers need a new model. He suggests farmers band together to establish farming co-operatives to manage prices and end competition so family farms can survive for future generations.