Land Rush – Sellout of Europe’s Farmland

We need to come back down to earth in Europe. Agriculture is losing its farmers. The European model of small-scale farming is at risk. There is a gradual process of land concentration undermining small-scale farming, and consequently the future of a diverse and sustainable cultivation of our land. Farmers are increasingly losing the ground they are working on.” Maria Heubuch (MEP)

image: fotolia Greens EFA

The above quote introduces the report  by ARC2020s Benedict Haerlin – Land Rush – The Sellout of Europe’s Farmland. Haerlin also facilitated the opening session of a major Conference in the European Economic and Social Committee and also the European Parliament on December 7th called “Access to land for farmers in the EU”.

The context is that all across Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and to people trying to get involved with farming.

As the Conference outline emphasised: “Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Examples such as Scotland and Andalusia, where arable land, pastures and forests are highly concentrated since centuries, show the negative effects for sustainable rural development and societies as a whole.”


Landrush – the sellout of Europe’s farmland (main chapters in panel below)


All presentations:


All ARC20020 articles on landgrabbing

Oliver Moore
About Oliver Moore 181 Articles
DR. Oliver Moore is the communications director and editor-in-chief with ARC2020. He has a PhD in the sociology of farming and food, where he specialised in organics and direct sales. He is published in the International Journal of Consumer Studies, International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology and the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. A weekly columnist and contributor with Irish Examiner, he is a regular on Countrywide (Irish farm radio show on the national broadcaster RTE 1) and engages in other communications work around agri-food and rural issues, such as with the soil, permaculture, climate change adaptation and citizen science initiative Grow Observatory . He lectures part time in the Centre for Co-operative Studies UCC