Dear friends and supporters

Here at ARC2020 we are busy finalising preparations for a farm to arrive in central Paris. The two day event – Ferme à Paris – will involve markets, documentaries, debates, music and animals. It will also provide a chance to meet farmers and organisations that are campaigning for a green, fair and local CAP! It is being organised by ARC2020, La Confédération paysanne and PAC2013. It kicks off today on 31 May and continues until 1 June. Find out more on the official website (in French), or on ARC2020.

This weekend, ARC2020 will also be involved in a third ‘guerrilla gardening’ event in Berlin. Taking place on International Children’s Day, people are once again being invited to join us in the rolling of seeds balls: small plantable balls made out of seeds, soil and clay. Once made, they can be dropped across cities as the seeds within them remain protected until they reach a spot suitable for them to sprout. Find the event on facebook, or learn more about the initiative on the Good Food Good Farming website. Berlin is also anticipating the arrival of Europe’s milk farmers. On 3 – 4 June, the European Milk Board is organising a demonstration in front of Angela Merkel’s office.

Elsewhere this month, ARC2020 was one of 24 organisations to sign a common letter to EU Commissioner for Health and Consumers – Tonio Borg. The letter, written by the UK-based networks Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain, is calling on the Commissioner to urgently reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock production.

Once the farm in Paris has closed its doors, we will be turning our attention to another event taking place in Europe this summer: the ‘Farms not Factories’ Action Camp in Wietze, Germany. Being organised by the ‘Wir haben es Satt’ team, their very first summer action will take place from 30 August to 1 September. Save the date and find out more in the campaign section below!

Hope summer has arrived where you are…

Kate Mann
ARC2020 Communications Manager

Latest from Brussels

With trilogue discussions on the CAP reform well underway, and with just one month to go until the Irish Presidency ends, the pressure is on for an agreement to be reached between the three institutions.

From 27 – 28 May, an informal meeting of the Agriculture Ministers saw all the key players in the CAP debate head to Dublin. During the two day meeting, Ministers were joined by Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Cioloş; the Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, Paolo De Castro; the rapporteurs on each of the four CAP reform dossiers and co-coordinators from each of the Parliament’s political groups. Irish Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, welcomed the engagement of the Parliament at the meeting, whilst De Castro was keen to insist that quality must prevail over speed in finding an agreement. Find out more here.

The next farm council in Luxembourg on 24 and 25 June will be crucial in the process.

Elsewhere this month the EFSA identified a fourth pesticide harmful to bees. The announcement came just days after the Commission confirmed that restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides will come into force this December.

May Agricultural and Fisheries Council Meeting

On 13 – 14 May, Agricultural Ministers from the EU Member States gathered in Brussels for their monthly meeting. Over the two days, Ministers once again outlined a commitment to find an agreement on the CAP reform by the next Council Meeting taking place in Luxembourg at the end of June.

Some of the most sensitive issues still outstanding are the new environmental rules, the redistribution of subsidies at national level and capping: all have been pushed back to the June meeting.

A number of additional items also need to be agreed on. These include the definition of an active farmer, measures specifically targeted at young farmers and the so-called small holders scheme. It became clear during the meeting that a number of Member States (the UK, Sweden, Germany and Denmark) opposed mandatory rules for the top up aimed at young farmers under the first pillar and the establishment of a negative list that would include non-agricultural holdings, and exclude ‘sofa farmers’. With many Member States still holding back their negotiating hand, the Presidency will have to work hard in the coming weeks to reduce the list of compromises that need to be made before June.

Find the official press release here

Upcoming public events

31.05 – 01.06.2013
Ferme à Paris

Seed Ball Action

03 – 04.06.2013
European Milk Board Demonstration

03 – 04.06.2013
Land sharing vs. land grabbing

TP Organics Stakeholder Forum

26 – 27.06.2013
ENSSER Conference on Agroecology for Sustainable Food Systems in Europe

02 – 04.07.2013
7th Europan Organic Conference
Vilnius, Lithuania

Upcoming Policy Events

30.08 – 01.09.2013

Action Camp: Farms not Factories

Wietze in Lower Saxony is home to Europe’s largest chicken slaughter house. Subsidised with € 6.5 million of taxpayers’ money, it aims to to kill 430,000 chickens daily. It is a symbol of industrial farming that is destroying fair, green and local food and farming.

On August 31, a large demonstration is being organised by the people behind the ‘Wir haben es Satt‘ demonstration which took place in January in Berlin. We will be joining them at the event bringing together citizens and campaigners from all over Europe! Either side of the demonstration an action camp is being organised with a lively and exciting programme, including workshops and concerts. Find out more in English or in German.

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