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Count down to the Good Food March begins
In just one month’s time, people from across Europe will be setting off on the final leg of a bicycle journey to Brussels to attend what is anticipated to be the biggest ever gathering of EU citizens calling for a greener and fairer future for farming in Europe. The event takes place as politicians debate the reform of the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).
Cyclists taking part in the bike tours for the Good Food March will arrive in Strasbourg on 5th September, with routes converging from Austria, France and Germany. Participants from further afield including Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain are also expected to directly join the march in Strasbourg. A day of activities will mark the international meeting point of the tour, before all participants set off together for the final two weeks of the route to Brussels.
Plans for the Good Food March1 started in May 2012 when 8 organisations came together to launch what is hoped will be the biggest and broadest civil society action ever seen on the reform of the CAP. As this is the first time the EU Parliament will vote on the new policy, this is a huge opportunity for European citizens to have a say in the final outcome.
ARC2020, European Coordination Via Campesina, European Milk Board, Friends of the Earth Europe, IFOAM EU Group, Meine Landwirtschaft, PAC2013 and Slow Food issued a joint Call for Action2 which outlines 11 key demands for the future of the CAP. Since the release of the Call, over 60 more organisations from 15 countries have become in involved.
The initiative will see thousands of farmers, citizens and young people express their demands for food and farming policy in the EU. Anyone can take part in the different activities and events that are currently being finalised. This includes joining the main march: a bike tour from Strasbourg to Brussels (or longer routes starting in Munich, Linz and locations in France), or taking part in national-level events scheduled throughout August and September including Bucharest, Lisbon, Rome and Vienna.3
And finally, a European-wide photo campaign4 has been launched enabling anyone to send a message about an issue they care about in the reform of the CAP. You are invited to send your photo to the Good Food March Team before September 14th so it can be presented in an album for decision-makers in Brussels on September 19th – the final day of the Good Food March. On this day, all participants will arrive in Brussels for a day a celebration and action, as well as a conference inside the European Parliament.5
Stephanie Roth, Campaign Coordinator for the march says: ‘The Good Food March is the first time that something on this scale has been organised on the reform of the CAP. With the opportunity to take part in national level events or the online photo action, it really is a unique opportunity for every EU citizen to speak up!’