Feeding Ourselves 2024 – Unpacking Protest, Agroecology and Local Food Economies in Ireland

 
Cloughjordan Ecovillage from above © Eoin Campbell

Just after the spring equinox, when the balance is tipped towards day, Ireland’s annual Feeding Ourselves Gathering will take place in Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary.

From March 21st – 24th, Feeding Ourselves is an opportunity for people and organisations working to strengthen local food economies and build a movement for agroecology, food sovereignty and rural resilience to convene and collaborate.

NEW – the full Schedule for Feeding Ourselves

At its core, the Gathering aims to help participants imagine and establish a future where farmers and landworkers earn a fair living, and everyone enjoys access to healthy, nutritious, and locally sourced food — a solidarity economy and food sovereignty vision to transform communities.

ARC2020 is a partner of Feeding Ourselves, which is led by Cultivate with support from Ireland’s Environmental Pillar. A fantastic array of organisations are also key to Feeding Ourselves, including Talamh Beo, which was formed at an earlier version, Cloughjordan, Feasta, Sonairte and the Solid Network.

Feeding Ourselves 2023 – Diversified Diversification in Action

Now in its 14th edition, the Feeding Ourselves Gathering is a yearly meeting point for what is a wide, inclusive movement, seeking to transcend borders and build regional resilience in the face of massive social and environmental threats.

Feeding Ourselves 2024 will comprise four days exploring different aspects of how farming and food is, and how it can be, for our farms, our land and our inclusive communities.

Thursday March 21st

Day 1 will be all about Policy and Politics, examining the current political landscape, seeking understanding, synergies and strategies forward. Ireland’s Minister of State for Agriculture, Pippa Hackett, will launch the event.

The 2024 context is defined by the complexity of Europe-wide farmer protests. There are a number of socio-ecologically regressive and progressive tendencies in these, and they hold pathways for both division and unity.

Contributors, including from Talamh Beo, ARC2020, and the Environmental Pillar, will unpack issues around global trade, food system power, political tendencies, and the rapidly changing policy reality.

In the Irish context, participants will examine power in agri-food (between sectors, regions and processor/trade/retail); sustainability needs and promising multi-stakeholder rural and agri-food approaches. Talamh Beo’s local food strategy, as well as broad based approaches from Europe, including the Marburg Action Plan, will be spotlighted.

Farmers, land users, local communities, researchers, journalists, environmental advocates, and policymakers will come together to decipher the issues and propose ways forward.

Organisations involved in Feeding Ourselves 2024

Friday March 22nd

Food Hubs and Local Food Economies take centre stage on Feeding Ourselves Day 2, when the focus is on Climate Action and Local Food, with organisations including Sonairte, the Open Food Network Ireland and Cloughjordan Community Farm.

Findings of the Climate Action & Local Food (CALF) project, which is supported by the Irish government’s Community Climate Action Fund and aims to support the establishment of Food Hubs across the country will be presented by Sonairte (the National Ecology Centre)

Day 2 sessions will delve into the significance and context of local food systems and supply chains in Ireland, with an emphasis on access to healthy local food, enhancing food security, promoting food equality and dignity and highlighting short food supply chains, and user-owned platforms as pathways towards a more resilient and equitable food system.

ARC’s Louise Kelleher presenting at Feeding Ourselves 2023. Photo: Davie Philip

Saturday March 23nd

This is the big day of the Feeding Ourselves Gathering – it brings together stakeholders from various networks and organisations dedicated to agroecology and local food. This day is designed to facilitate community learning, foster solidarity, ignite inspiration for collective action, and strengthen a local food movement on the island of Ireland.

Through engaging workshops, insightful discussions, and breakout activities,participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of key issues, exchange valuable insights, and collectively work towards a future where everyone has access to healthy, nutritious, and locally sourced food.

As the sun goes down and the day’s work comes to and end, from 7pm until late, the Gathering culminates in Eats and Beats – a sumptuous chow down with community farm veg, and a chance to dance the night away to tropical, reggae and afrobeat sounds.

Sunday March 24th

Sunday will be a more relaxed affair but no less important. The final day of the 2024 Feeding Ourselves gathering features a Cloughjordan Community Farm walk and a deep listening session with a focus on young farmers.

The Logistics

Participation at Feeding Ourselves 2024 gathering is only possible in-person.
Due to limited availability, securing your place is essential.  Please express your interest in attending specific days by completing this Google Form.

Costs
Unless you are a contributor or organising partner there will be a small charge.

Thursday / Friday / Saturday: €20.00 per day, including a light lunch
Eats and Beats (Saturday evening entertainment w/food): €20.00
3 day pass: €55.00 including a light lunch each day
3 day pass as as above, plus Eats and Beats: €70.00

Organisational Rate: €300.This rate is tailored for research projects, organisations, and networks seeking to participate. It includes 2 to 5 places each day, along with the option for a stall or poster display. Contact Davie to organise (davie@cultivate.ie).

Get a taste of Feeding Ourselves in this Euractiv video from last year’s gathering:

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