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France | Meet The Farmer-Bakers Proving Their Skills

Sébastien loves bread. Shaped by a farming background, he was drawn to cooking, but experience taught him that the reality in the kitchen was very far from his ideals. Fabienne studied accounting and worked a corporate job in the city. She was happy to team up with her husband Sébastien on the farm in the West of France. Here in their on-farm bakery, between batches of bread, they share their views on life as farmer-bakers. […]

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Rural Europe Takes Action | Regenerative Governance in Rural Spain

Next in our series of extracts from “Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual” is the story of Resilience.Earth, a non-profit cooperative committed to community resilience and regenerative design as fundamental tools for social and ecological transformation. In engaging rural communities, Resilience.Earth builds from a feminine, indigenous and decolonial perspective. […]

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Ireland | Intensive Farms Must Pull their Weight for a Just Transition

Not all agri-sectors have the same impact. As the debate in Ireland over greenhouse gas emissions cuts for economic sectors intensifies, who is thinking about the fair share within sectors? Here we republish an article from Rural Ireland on the Move, our report from April this year. In it, Fintan Kelly  – agriculture and land use policy and advocacy officer with the Irish Environmental Network – examines the idea of a fair share on emissions within agriculture.  […]

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Rural Europe Takes Action | Creating Alternatives, Creating Community

 In June 2022, together with Forum Synergies, ARC2020 launched a book: “Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual”. We’re spotlighting its stories of rural action and key messages for policymakers through a series of extracts. 

In this extract, we are introduced to Cargonomia, a cargo bike delivery service and community collective based in Budapest. […]

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Part 3 | Ireland, Food Security & Feed(ing the World) – Is Ireland Feeding Food?

A common criticism of ‘animal agriculture’ is that it uses human-grade food as a feedstock. It is also heard in Ireland, a country with a significant livestock population by European standards.  To what extent is it true that animal agriculture uses human-grade food? Stuart Meikle with part 3 of his series on Ireland, Food Security and Feeding the World. […]

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Rural Europe Takes Action | Seeds of Collaboration

“Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual”, a policy guide for rural Europe by ARC2020 and Forum Synergies, launched in June 2022. Today’s extract from Rural Europe Takes Action tells the story of the Balkan Seeds Network, a network of scientists and seed savers’ organisations tapping into the rich biodiversity and agricultural heritage of South Eastern Europe to stimulate resilient food systems, and establishing a paradigm of collaboration for the Balkan region.  […]

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What France Can Teach Us About Rural Resilience

In the past two years, ARC2020 has been listening closely to voices on the ground in the French countryside. What have we learned? What do the participants have to say? And what’s next for the Nos Campagnes en Résilience project? The key themes emerging from the research so far were presented to the project participants at an online gathering in June, when a lively discussion helped to collectively shape the direction for the future. Report by the Nos Campagnes en Résilience team. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Watching, Waiting and Knowing When To Help

We’re back on Shane Casey’s farm in The Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland, where he has another busy spring of lambing and calving behind him. There’s only so much you can do to prepare – after that, it’s a question of watching carefully for the telltale signs in the ewes and cows. Shane’s father was an early adopter of livestream technology that makes the night watch a little easier. But successful lambing and calving depends on the farmer’s expertise as well as patience. Knowing if and when to intervene, whether to call the vet, and how to help the newborns find their feet.  […]

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Part 2 | Ireland, Food Security & Feed(ing the World) – Ireland and the Archipelago

Part two of four from Stuart Meikle on Ireland, food security and feed(ing) the world delves into the relationship Britain and Ireland have with each other  – the two main islands of the archipelago referred to in the article’s title. Part one (see below) focused on Ireland, food security and nitrogen supply. Here, trade, animal feed, meats, durable forms of diary all feature.   […]

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Op-Ed | Europe Eats the World

“Europe feeds the world” is a line often heard in EU policy debates and the media. A line often used to sideline calls to lower the impacts of European agriculture and to place “providing food” as the highest political priority. But is this line really true? In this op-ed lead author, Jabier Ruiz, of the WWF European Policy Office, summarises the main pieces of evidence gathered, which show that, far from feeding the world, Europe consumes more than its fair share. […]

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Denmark | Re-Scaling the Rural

ARC2020’s Louise Kelleher and Matteo Metta were among the speakers at “AlterRurality 6: Re-Scaling the Rural”, a conference held last month in a small Danish coastal village. The interdisciplinary conference aimed to initiate a critical investigation of past, current, and what may become future concepts and interpretations of rural life. Report. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Cresting the Peaks of Constant Change

We’re back at the foot of the Italian Alps, where Chiara Garini is growing like the shiitake mushrooms on her forest farm. Given our precarious, hyperconnected and crisis-stricken planet, Chiara is sticking with the realism of making and maintaining –food and employment, forest and qualify of life– over the idealism of saving the world. The farm is growing too, and the long-awaited renovation of an old building is helping the now-expanded team to diversify activities.  […]