Across the continent, farmers, environmentalists, pastoralists, fishers are grabbing their pots and spoons to call for a more socially and environmentally just European food system. We want to see policy which supports small farmers and rural livelihoods, protects our soil, water, ecosystems and biodiversity and provides healthy food for all. We want an agroecological transition at the European level. On the 27th and 28th October, let’s make sure we are heard!
ARC2020 has teamed up with Meine Landwirtschaft, Friends of the Earth Europe, Heinrich Boell Foundation,European Coordination Via Campesina, BirdLife Europe, IFOAM EU, Slow Food and Pour une autre PAC. Together we are organising a range of events throughout October culminating in a concerted weekend of action on the 27th and 28th. From dinners to demonstrations, picnics to panel discussions, farm visits to film festivals, events of all shapes and sizes are taking place. There is still time to get involved!
The coming months will see important developments in the formulation of the next CAP. In light of these crucial decisions, the GFGF Campaign calls for:
- access to tasty, nutritious and culturally appropriate food for all
- re-localisation of food production, processing and consumption
- food sovereignty and fair world trade
- a CAP reform that is socially just, sustainable, supports living rural areas and does not harm other countries
- fair income and decent work conditions for farmers, land workers, pastoralists and fishers
- a better future in rural communities and in the city
- many more people in farming and opportunities for youth
- food policies that promote biodiversity, protect the environment and mitigate climate change
- no GMOs
- animal welfare and fewer, better-quality animal products
- more bees, birds and other animals beneficial to sustainable agriculture
- more participatory political processes
The diverse actions across the continent do not just call for an end to industrial agriculture and support for big business and landowners but also wishes to platform and celebrate the farmers, beekeepers, chefs, NGOs and citizens already engaged in creating a better food system.
Already, across the continent a range of creative events are taking shape. Each event is tailored to the local context: what are the specific issues facing that regions food and farming system? What are local citizens concerned about? Some examples include
- The Transhumancia Festival in Madrid on 21st October will see transhumant herds take over the city center. This is to demonstrate the importance of their traditional practices of seasonal livestock movement.
- On October 27th, at the the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Meine Landwirtschaft is hosting a demonstration to remind German agricultural minister Julia Klöckner of her promise to save the insects. The march will place beekeepers and smokers centre stage to call for a bee-friendly agriculture.
- Across the pond in Northern Ireland, Friends of the Earth will be hosting Pig Business is Big Business, a short film and panel discussion on the pig industry in Northern Ireland.
- The Good Food Conference in Zagreb will bring together different food and farming actors to discuss seed and soil health.
- Farmers markets in Croatia and Malta will host a series of events to connect producers and consumers and discuss the future CAP.
- The map of all confirmed events so far can be found here.
A great thing about these action days is accessibility. The last Good Food March, in the run-up to the last CAP reform, culminated with a demonstration in Brussels, to hand over their demands to relevant ministers in Brussels. In the absence of a large, centralised event like that, more energy and attention has been placed on encouraging a diversity of localised, creative actions across the continent. Since they no longer have to travel long distances, engaged citizens and farmers can organise their own events with greater ease.
It also means these events are tailored to local contexts. The Landworker’s Alliance, for example, is hosting the Good Food Good Farming March on Westminster, London 14th October. Whilst the UK will no longer be directly impacted by the next CAP,the future UK Agriculture Bill is passing through parliament at the moment. Throughout October the proposed Bill will be debated by MPs.
“As we leave the European Common Agricultural Policy, the UK agriculture bill will determine the future of our food system for the next 50 years or more,” says Jyoti Fernandes of The Landworkers Alliance, “If you want that food system to support farmers to produce environmentally friendly, healthy, affordable food for everyone, please join us.”
The march will culminate at the We Feed the World photography exhibition. Coordinated by the Gaia Foundation, the exhibit celebrates the small farmers which produce 70% of the world’s food. The events in London will round off with the London People’s Feast on 27th October. In light of Brexit and worrying anti-immigration rhetoric, organisers want to celebrate London as a global city, created and reliant upon its international connections. This is an open-to-all feast to celebrate the diversity and multiculturalism of the UK and the rich culinary heritage this has produced as well as to express solidarity with European partners.
The events will draw to a close with a disco soup in Brussels on the 19th November. EU agriculture ministers are invited to join us and will be presented with our set of demands for the future of European food and farming policy.
Want to get involved?
- Throughout the coming month, the campaign is gathering CAPsnaps across the continent to find out what kind of food system citizens want to see. The 1,000 or so images will be gathered into a video presented to EU agricultural ministers in mid-November. Take a photo with a pot, a spoon and your demand on an A4 piece of paper. Share your photo on twitter, Instagram or Facebook with the Hashtag #GoodFoodGoodFarming and tag your national agricultural minister in charge or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Want to find out more about events in your country or capital? Reach out to one of our national contacts or speak to European coordinator Verena Günther at email@example.com.
- Are you or your organisation already hosting an event related to food and farming issues? Do you want to connect to a larger European movement? Existing events are invited to join us! Add your event to our growing interactive map. Necessary toolkits, banners and materials in various languages can be found here.
- Want to host a picnic, public talk at your farmers market or meeting with local decision makers? Do it! We encourage all sorts of events and organisations to get involved. More information can be found here.
- Follow the GFGF campaign on Twitter and Instagram.