Another way to do food is possible. And its here. Friends of the Earth Europe’s “Eating from the Farm – the social, environmental, and economic benefits of local food systems” show us inspirational examples of where you can shake the hand that feeds you, all around Europe.
This new publication explores the many myriad benefits of short food supply chains, and how they function in few countries in the EU.
It “features five case studies which illustrate different ways in which communities are finding more sustainable ways to produce and consume food with benefits for all” FOEE say about the publication .
They continue “The methods vary, but the outcomes are the same: control of the food system is being taken back by small-scale, sustainable farms and food enterprises from large-scale industrial businesses that dominate the market today putting profit ahead of well being for people and planet.”
The milestone of more urban than rural dwellers reached globally as long ago as 2007. This, coupled with a the twin demands of the sustainable use of resources and population growth, means the agri-food system is facing serious, multifaceted pressures.
Shorter, more embedded supply chains delivering agroecological (healthy, seasonal, environmental sound) food and meaningful, producer livelihoods – that’s the high watermark the civic agriculture movement aims for. First the case for agroecological local food systems is laid out in Eating from the Farm – see right – then, in each of the five case studies in this publication, we discover a differing strand of the agroecological food revolution.
- Community food solutions in the face of corporate profits – Spain
- Bringing consumers together to keep local food in business – Italy
- Using the internet to put local food first – France
- Farmers` markets – bringing local food to the city – Czech Republic
- Public policies for sustainable local food – Hungary
Sometimes the scale of these movements can be surpass presumptions of niche or alternative. As FOEE point out for the Italian example above, “the Gruppi di Acquisito Solidale movement allows communities across the country to group together to buy directly from sustainable local producers, with whom they are in direct contact. There are now 2,000 Gruppi di Acquisito Solidale groups across the country, with an average annual turnover of €90 million.”
Taken together, these fifteen examples show that there is a great appetite among citizens for something other than the same-old broken CAP supported food system. And More and more citizens want, not the dystopian vista of a TTIP fed world, but, rather, an agroecological food revolution, one that puts people and the planet front and centre.
The people are moving into this space – policy makers, at EU and Member State level, need to catch up!
All Arc2020 news on agroecology