Newsflash

ARC Newsflash August 2014

ARC NEWSFLASH AUGUST 2014 Dear friends and supporters, Welcome to our August newsletter! We’ve been busy, working away especially on TTIP and agroecology over the last month. In many ways, these two strands of the agri-food world are poles apart. One deals with corporations on both sides of the Atlantic, and their cronies, trying to make labour, environment, health and safety rules weaker. The other presents solutions for making agri-food, rural communities and the living world better. Can you guess which is which? :-) Both these areas, as well as a shocking story on farm labour from Romania, a positive story on pesticides and people power, as well as lots of useful dates for upcoming events, make up the core of this August newsletter. More highlights from our recent posts include: Leave it to Tescos: UK food imports food security Permaculture: Green Solutions in the Greek Countryside Pioneer’s GM Maize 1507: the full history in Europe WWOOFing in Romania Don’t forget we have a regularly updated newsticker (recent updates include TTIP, bees, ‘fat tax’, pesticides & biodiversity), the 2000m² project, and we are very active on […]

Newsflash

ARC Newsflash July 2014

ARC NEWSFLASH JULY 2014 Dear friends and supporters, Welcome to our latest newsletter! As usual there’s lots going on here at Arc2020. We’re very excited to be working with Friends of the Earth Europe on a new agroecology and CAP project. You will start to see, in this newsletter and on our website, lots of agroecological best practice examples from around Europe. This will help us to play our part in signposting policy makers, campaigners and others towards a new, coherent, holistic EU agri-food policy in the years ahead. (We’ll use #agroeco on social media if you use facebook or twitter)Thank you to everyone who filled in the survey  – this too has helped us share our content and emphasis. We had lots of highlights in June, including a story which reach many thousands, aboutpeasant farmers in Romania winning a stunning victory over gold mining corporations. Below are some more highlights from the month of June: Preparing for the upcoming European Organic Congress, which we’re co-organising, we ran this inspiring story from France about Tierre de Liens, an organisation which helps young […]

Newsflash

ARC Newsflash – June 2014

  Dear friends and supporters, We at ARC are doing a bit of spring cleaning as we enter the post-CAP refrom phase and look ahead onto the agri-food landscape. As part of this, we will be making changes to our online home, www.ARC2020.eu. Before we get to work, we want to know exactly how we can best be of use to our members and supporters. To help shape the ARC website into a better resource for you, please take a few moments toanswer our survey; it’s short and would be very helpful for us if you could find the time to do this. There are just seven questions which will take about three minutes to answer in total. Below are some highlights from the month of May: TTIP, antibiotics, CAP, land grab, fertilizer regulations and Kishantos feature. European Milk Board calls for immediate end to TTIP:  the EMD urged an immediate halt, calling the agreement a severe threat to the EU – economically, ecologically and socially. Antimicrobial resistance soaring: “A problem so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine” according to the World Health Organisation. New open […]

Newsflash

ARC Newsflash – May 2014

Dear friends and supporters, As we shift into May, eyes are turning to  Brussels; the European Parliament elections will take place across EU member states from May 22-25, allowing Europeans to elect the 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that will represent them for the next five years. Stay up-to-date through our EU elections page, with links to the most useful websites, an overview of scheduled debates, and updates from our correspondents across Europe.The fifth round of TTIP negotiations will also take place in May, along with the second day of planting on the 2000m² field; see below for more on both.Back in January, we featured a guest post from Feeding the 5000. They have just won the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme Best Initiative award. Well done guys! And, in case you missed them, here are a few highlights from the past month ARC2020.eu: FAO Voluntary Guidelines- hope for responsible land tenure policies: In Eastern Europe, the creation of international documents protecting land rights is more than welcome. Organic vs. conventional agriculture – where the profit? A recent study published by the European Commission […]

Newsflash

ARC Newsflash – April 2014

Dear friends and supporters, As Europe has thawed, the next months will be very exciting for our 2000m² project. Last Sunday, we planted seeds on the field in Berlin, and are looking forward to growing both the representation of the global situation, and the project itself.  More on that below. A few other highlights from March on ARC2020.eu: UK cooperative in fire sale of its farms: The UK’s food and farming sector is reeling with shock and disbelief as “Britain’s largest farmer”, The Cooperative, has put its farms up for sale. Ukraine’s Land Struggle with Russia: If 1 out of 3 agro-ecological zones would be removed from Ukraine’s possession, it would cause enormous consequences for farmers. Poland short-changes its organic farmers: Organic farming and agri-environmental schemes will not grow under current Rural Development plans. UN Rights to Food expert demands radical change: Olivier De Schutter warned that current food systems must be redesigned. The irony of national markets: cheap exports expensive imports: How our convoluted food system destroys food sovereignty. TTIP: how fat cats can turn nasty: Will the precautionary principle and other stalwarts […]

Newsflash

ARC NEWSFLASH March 2014

Dear friends and supporters, In March, the fourth round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will take place in Brussels.  Since the last round of negotiations in December, more evidence the secretive nature of these negotiations has emerged, as reported by Corporate Europe Observatory: “In the 29 documents which were ‘partially released’, DG Trade has removed large parts of the text (…). In some cases, like a meeting with lobbyists from Fertilizers Europe, every single word has been removed from the document.” A glimmer of hope was offered at the end of January, when the Commission announced a public consulation on the so-called investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) part of the agreement. According to the official press release, the decision follows ‘unprecedented interest in the talks’ and in early March, De Gucht will publish a proposed EU text for the investment part of the talks on which people across the EU will have three months to comment.  We featured an opinion piece on thethreats the TTIP poses to Romanian peasants and farmers, and a prognosis of TTIP stakeholder […]

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ARC NEWSFLASH February 2014

Dear friends and supporters, To say 2014 has been exciting and busy so far would be putting it lightly. We started January off with one of the biggest demonstrations in Germany in years!  30,000 of us – thousands of farmers, 70 tractors, concerned citizens of all ages in all sorts of costumes, and a clatter of marching bands – protested under the slogan ‘We are fed up!’ (or ‘Wir haben es satt!’ in German), demanding better food and agriculture and clearly stating that the industrialized food system is not the system we want. Seeing such a big turnout for this cause – up on last year – was extremely energizing and inspiring. We will need all this energy in the next few weeks, as we have just launched a campaign to save the Ecological Focus Areas – one of the last hopes of a greener CAP – from toxic pesticides.  More on the demo and this new campaign below.Its also a big time at EU level for seeds: 11th February sees the Committee for Agriculture vote on the European Commission’s controversial proposal. Indications are that this could be good news […]

Newsflash

ARC NEWSFLASH October/November 2013

  Dear friends and supporters,Shirin and Oliver here. We’re nicely settled in now into our roles, and really enjoying the challenge of keeping everyone up to date on European farming and food policy issues. The Arc2020 website is, hopefully, a little easier to use and more useful for you. We’ve added big buttons which feature our CAP and Rural Development Toolkit, agricultural campaigns across Europe, and our 2000m² project, as well as a live twitter feed. Why not pop over and have a fresh look?  We look forward to hearing what you think. There’s a lot going on in agri-food politics and policy right now. Member States have been having consultations on the CAP reform process, which means they are closer to making important decisions that will effect farming, food and the environment across Europe. We’ll keep updating our toolkit and site as more information comes to hand: seehere for the latest from Spain, here for the latest from Germany, and see also what’s happening in Scotland and Ireland. The whole area of land grab to the east of the Continent has been a very hot topic on ARC2020 in recent […]

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ARC NEWSFLASH SEPTEMBER 2013

  Dear friends and supporters, Hello from Oliver and Shirin, the new ARC2020 communications team! Although sad to say goodbye, all of us at ARC2020 are happy to wish Kate the best on this next, exciting step in her career. She has stepped over to work with Slow Food in Italy, so is remaining in an important area of food and farming politics. This communications role will now be split between the two of us : Oliver, as EU Correspondent, and Shirin as Communication Manager.  We look forward to working closely with many of you! And so to the main news. Despite the substantive CAP agreement during the Irish presidency, there is still much to fight for in the remaining negotiations. September will see Trilogues on CAP budget issues including flexibility between pillars, while late September or October will likely see the Council and Parliament finalising texts and translations. What’s clear already, however, is that many CAP decisions have been left to national and regional authorities. This means that we can all direct much energy and focus […]

Newsflash

ARC NEWSFLASH AUGUST 2013 : Wietze Action Camp Special

  THE DEMONSTRATION: SATURDAY 31 AUGUSTLast weekend, 7000 people turned up to demonstrate and form a human chain around Europe’s biggest chicken slaughterhouse in Wietze, Lower Saxony. With such a great turnout and heavy press coverage, the demonstration was a huge success and generated a lot of discussion 3 weeks before the elections in Germany.Thank you to everyone who came! If you were not able to make it, the photos tell an impressive story. You can see themhere.Read more about the demonstration here. EITHER SIDE OF THE DEMONSTRATION…To encourage the continued exchange of ideas, we set up camp a few days before the demonstration and organised a variety of different events, including a full day of workshops (see the full programme here). The camp was buzzing with excitement; there was delicious, fresh food being served by the team from Fläming Kitchen, music from the legendary DJ Spoutnik, and an energetic ‘Disco Soup’ session, where vegetables were chopped en masse for Saturday’s meals. You can read more from the camp here.Jonty Whittleton, who held the workshop ‘Chicken – 1.99€/ Kg The true cost?’, shared his experience from demonstration and […]

Newsflash

ARC NEWSFLASH June 2013

Dear friends and supporters June started off with a bang; and a farm! From 31 May to 1 June, a two day event in the centre of Paris – organised by ARC2020, Confédération paysanne and PAC2013 – saw farmers, animals, market stalls and good food take over Place Stalingrad. Urban and rural consumers from across France came to meet farmers and take part in Ferme à Paris. The event provided fantastic surroundings to share our common wish for a fair, green and local CAP: French Agriculture Minister, Stéphane Le Foll and vice-chair of the EU Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, José Bové were among those attending.  Towards the end of the month, our attention turned to the decisive Agricultural Council meeting in Luxembourg. On June 24 – the first day of the meeting – young activists from ARC2020 were in town to remind EU politicians of their promise to deliver a CAP reform that reflects the wishes of European citizens. Holding a large banner (see image below) outside the VIP entrance to the […]

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ARC NEWSFLASH JULY 2013

Dear friends and supporters As politicians pack up for summer, our attention is now turning to the international summer camp taking place from 29 August – 1 September in Wietze, Germany. With just four weeks to go, preparations are gaining momentum. Either side of the main action day on Saturday 31 August, a series of side events have now been organised. On Friday 30 August a full day of workshops will take place, hosted by representatives from movements across Europe. Workshop highlights include ‘Chicken – €1.99 a kilo: the true cost’ run by Jonty Whittleton from Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and ‘Crisis Food from Greece’ run by Pavlos Georgiadis. Every evening people can watch films and dance to live music and DJs under the stars. The Friday night will also see a disco soup – the increasingly popular action against food waste. The aim of the event is to highlight the problems and failings of Europe’s food and farming policy; and discuss alternatives. Wietze in Lower Saxony – home to the largest poultry slaugherhouse […]

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ARC NEWSFLASH APRIL 2013

Dear friends and supporters of ARC2020 April was another busy month for ARC2020 and the Good Food Good Farming campaign.On 17 April, with EU trilogue negotiations underway, ARC2020 sent a letter to the European Institutions working on the CAP reform. Specifically, the European Parliament rapporteurs, Chairman of the Agricultural Committee – Paolo De Castro, President of the Council of Agricultural Ministers – Simon Coveney, and EU Commissioner for Agriculture – Dacian Cioloş. The letter outlines a number of points that ARC2020 urges negotiators to support in this final stage of CAP talks. On April 21 the ARC2020 Speakers Tour on Land grabbing kicked off in Paris, before heading to other European capitals including Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam and Brussels. The two speakers taking part in the tour (the third in the series) were Attila Szocs – ARC2020 correspondent for Romania who monitors large-scale agricultural land purchases in Romania, and Dan Cismas – biodynamic farmer and co-president of the EcoRuralis peasant association. Along with their trusty translator, our campaign coordinator Stephanie Roth, they spent 10 days meeting with […]

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ARC NEWSFLASH MAY 2013

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 […]

Newsflash

ARC NEWSFLASH NOVEMBER 2012

Dear friends and supporters of ARC2020 This month was significant for two of ARC2020’s projects: Agro-ecological Innovation and the Good Food Good Farming campaign.  On November 15th, approximately 80 people gathered in Brussels for the final event of the Agro-ecological Innovation project: a collaboration of ARC2020, IFOAM EU Group and TP Organics. The event provided an opportunity for the partners to showcase the project to a diverse audience, and present recommendations derived from the project regarding how best to integrate agro-ecological innovation in the new policy frameworks for agriculture, and research and innovation. Launched back in March 2012, the main outputs of the project are a website and a promotional brochure of successful case studies and examples. Following the close of one project came the launch of another: The GOOD FOOD FOOD FARMING campaign. Inspired by the success of the Good Food March this summer, and with an EU-wide network of citizens who share our vision for good food, good farming and a vibrant countryside now in place; the campaign will serve as ARC2020’s campaigning tool. Keep an eye on […]