ARC Newsflash November 2014

Hello from the Oliver and Luise, Arc2020’s Communication team! Welcome to our November newsletter.We’ve a great range of news and views for you this month, with land access in France, short supply chain innovations in Romania, an agroecology report from September’s FAO international symposium and a round up of the growing opposition to TTIP as main features.Along with these key stories, October was a busy month for us, with people from all over the Continent informing our site.

Recent stories include:
The facts on corporate control of the EU’s seed supply: case study from Romania
Empowering Rural Stakeholders from the Western Balkans
Manage grasslands as if our lives depended upon it
What happened to the sustainable food communication?
Nourish Scotland on the Common Wealth of Food

Do keep a watchful eye on the work we are doing with Friends of the Earth Europe on a project which will make the most of the CAP. Its a project about making it easier to do agroecology within the terms of current EU agri-food policies. So we are supporting the establishment of farmers’ markets in Sofia (Bulgaria), CSAs all over Czech, greening in Poland, Climate Change Awareness in Spain, sustainable management of natural resources in Hungary, and lot’s more. We are organising events in these and more countries, as well as producing a best practice brochure from around Europe, lots of short, informative videos, a conference in Brussels and so much more. Keep an eye on our website’s agroecology section for more.

As you can see from the TTIP section in this newsletter, TTIP has become something of a lightening rod for campaigners for better farming and food in the US and EU.  We’ve strengthened our links with our sister organisation in the US –  IATP – to developed shared messages and webinars, with more exciting collaborations upcoming.Our dedicated TTIP section will keep you informed.

Ever wonder what’s behind the “problems” and “solutions” tabs on our homepage? Well, along with our dedicated sections on CAPwatch, seeds, landgrabbing we have five sub headings beneath “problems and solutions”. These are waste, antibiotics, GMOs, industrial farming and pesticides (the problems) and also campaigns, bees, local food, organic farming, food sovereignty (the solutions). This gives you an idea of our priorities and makes it easier for you to navigate our site.

Don’t forget we have a regularly updated newsticker, our 2000m² project, and we are very active on both facebook and twitter. Do join in on our conversations, make suggestions and get in touch with ideas. Let’s help build a better more coherent agri-food policy for Europe.Welcome to our November newsletter!
Dr. Oliver Moore – oliver@arc2020.eu
Communications Manager
Luise Körner – communication@arc2020.eu
Communications team

Food Sovereignty: new flexible food models on the rise

Alternative food networks (AFN) offer more flexibility to urban consumers than the common CSA box schemes. In October we took a closer look at  “Gustare de la Kalotaszeg” (A Taste of Kalotaszeg) located in the Transylvania region of Romania. Here the local NGO Tarnat Kalotaszeg works as a link between urban consumers of rural products and small scale farmers. Once a week they check and buy products directly from local peasants. The participants of the programme receive a weekly box according to their orders. The highlight is the famous ‘box note’, a list that tells the consumer more about the farmer who produced their food. Find out more about the programme here.

What we need is in our hands: Re-designing food systems
The first FAO Symposium on Agroecology took place on 18-19 September 2014 in Rome. Agroecological practices show positive income, lower bills and an improved balance of payments thanks to saving in inputs such as fertilizer, seed, petrol, machinery, etc. Positive externalities are created in the field of health and nutrition. Resilience to hurricanes and extreme weather is increased. Farmers build up knowledge, they reallocate surplus and create wealth and they decrease their dependency on price volatility in the global markets. The Symposium provided scientific evidence substantiating the call to unpick the claims of conventional agriculture to feed the world. Karin Ulmer of APRODEV reports on the symposium at ARC2020.eu.

Access to land for community connected farming

Sjoerd Wartena at the IFOAM EU European Organic Congress:

“Questioning the landgrabbing practices and in general the land management  in the world is of course of the utmost importance to assure this maintenance and, in our part of the world, the installation of sustainable smallholder farming. Terre de Liens and the access to land group concentrate on this issue, not only by analyzing the disastrous consequences of private ownership of land or complete state-owned land.

We organized in France a movement that created financial structures, embedded in a social and solidarity context with shareholders, donaters and  volunteers, in short a democratic civil society system.”

 

Upcoming Events and Policy DatesNovember 4     Landgrabbing: A wake up call Brussels, BelgiumNovember 5-9 PREPARE Gathering, Helsinki, Finland

November 5-8 European Land Stewardship Congress, Barcelona, Spain

November 11 Scottish Rural Parliament – National Meeting, Oban Scotland

November 9 The potential of agroecology: Reclaiming the food crisis, Brussels, Belgium

November 11 Countering Climate Change with Organic Agriculture, Bruxelles, Belgium

November 18-19 Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, Rome, Italy

November 24-25 The role of agriculture in providing ecosystem services, Balti, Moldova

November 27 Closing the gap on the CAP, Amsterdam, Netherlands

December 1 Territorial cooperation for the provision of public goods, Brussells, Belgium

Find all events listed on ARC2020 here.

TTIP – the latest developments On both sides of the Atlantic, people are concerned with the impact TTIP will have on citizens and society. They demand to be involved in the discussions. ARC2020 reports from both perspectives in cooperation with IATP (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, U.S.A.).French mobilise against agri-industrialiation & TTIP/CETA28.10.2014TTIP: European Day of Action 14.10.2014

Ireland organises against TTIP 13.10.2014

US groups concerned: TTIP impact GM Food legislation 02.10.2014