Dear friends and supporters of ARC2020July has been another busy month for the ARC2020 network. A highlight for us were the two days we spent in Brussels. On July 12th we held a very productive planning meeting for the Good Food March. From across Europe, national coordinators for the march came together to present their plans and share ideas for the next few months. With national level events now planned in cities such as Bucharest, Lisbon, Naples, and Vienna, alongside the main bike tour to Brussels, the march is really beginning to take shape. If you want to organise an event, don’t hesitate to get in contact with your national representative, and let us know so we can add it to the Good Food March map!

The second event we attended on July 13th was held in the EU Commission. We were at the ‘CAP Towards 2020 – Taking Stock with Civil Society‘ conference, which included speakers from the ARC network: Goran Soster – Coordinator of the PREPARE Network, Jan Plagge, IFOAM EU Group and Robert Lukesch. Not only did we take part in the conference itself, we also made a bit of noise outside beforehand. Bright and early, with some of us dressed as cows, we gathered in front of the Charlemagne Building with Birdlife, EEB, Friends of the Earth Europe, IFOAM EU Group, Pesticide Action Network, Slow Food and WWF to ask those on their way into the conference, including the EU Agriculture Commissioner, to take part in a lucky dip to find out if Friday 13th would be a significant day for the CAP.  You can read more about the action in media such as EurActiv and Europolitics.

The next time we plan to all be in Brussels is September 19th: the final day of the march. We are expecting 100s of people come together on this day to mark the end of the march and take place in different events. In the morning, a Good Food Brunch is being organised which will bring together marchers and MEPs. In the afternoon, a conference organised by ARC2020 and Slow Food is taking place in the EU Parliament. Registration is now open for the conference – register here today to secure your place! The 19th will also be the day we present photo albums to different EU representatives, filled with all the photos we receive for the Good Food March Photo Campaign. If you want to be in these albums, make sure you send us your photo message for the future of food and farming in Europe, and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do so too.

Let’s march!

Kate Mann

Last month in Brussels

On July 9th and 10th, the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development held their final meeting before the summer break. Topics on the agenda included information provision and promotion measures for agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries, quality systems applicable to agricultural products, the regime of the single payment scheme and support to vine-growers.  An exchange of views was also held with new Council President – Sofoclis Aletraris, Cypriot Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.

On July 10th, the Council adopted a set of amendments to the regulation concerning the application of direct payments to farmers in the year 2013 following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament. The aim of the 2013 regulation is to provide for a smooth transition from the current direct payments system to the new payments scheme foreseen by the Commission in the CAP reform proposals. On July 13th, on the initiative of Dacian Cioloş – Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, the EU Commission organised the conference: The CAP 2020: Taking Stock with Civil Society, a follow-up to the first consultation held in July 2010. The Agriculture and Fisheries Council met on July 16th and 17th. You can find a more detailed update on this opposite.

Find all news from Brussels here.

July Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Two public debates on CAP were held at the first Council meeting under new Cyrpiot presidency. The first was on support for rural development and the second on common organisation of the markets in agricultural products.

In terms of rural development most delegations agreed that risk management has become essential for farmers due to challenges such as climate change and price volatility. According to the official press release, many Member States also supported the Commission proposal on risk management through the second pillar, allowing flexibility in its implementation, as well as the possibility of combining the measures with other actions under pillar II. In terms of the single CMO there was broad support for the proposed exceptional support measures.

The new Presidency work programmewas also outlined. In terms of the CAP reform, the Council will organise focused debates on specific issues of the four main CAP regulations, prepare the adoption of a partial general approach on the key elements of the reform package for November, and adopt (with the EP) the proposals concerning transitional measures for the direct payments.Find the press release here

Upcoming events 

Austrian route of the Good Food March begins

German route of Good Food March begins: ‘Plate not waste‘ event with Slow Food

Main route begins

Arrival of marchers in Luxembourg

Good Food March Brunch

ARC2020 and Slow Food Conference

Find all Good Food March dates here

An interview with…

Panagiotis Sainatoudis – Founder of Peliti, Greece

“My plan to save and freely distribute local seed varieties is about freedom and democracy. We must ask ourselves to what we want to wake up to. It is in our hands to wake up to healthy food, to small-scale agriculture and to personal relationships between producers and consumers. We have to think about what we want, about what seeds we sow. We are the ones that make the choice. We will reap what we sow.”

Find full interview here


1. FAQ’s on website

2. Dates for main route confirmed + new national events

3. Over 200 photos added to our photo campaign

4. New participants and co-signatories

5. Good Food March merchandise now available!

6. 19th September Conference registration open!

7. Austrian route to join up with German route!