Part I: Spanish Coalition “Por Otra PAC” is Born

on the left, Fernando Miranda, Secretary General for Agriculture from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Spain

Marta Zygadlo in Spain

Following the lead of FrenchGerman and Italian food and farming coalitions, this March saw the launch of Coalición Por Otra PAC, a chance for Spanish civil society to join forces to push for a truly sustainable CAP. 

It is made up of organisations defending environment and consumers, as well those representing and promoting nutrition and health, sustainable and organic agriculture, rural development, and transhumance. Its purpose is clear – to be a “full-fledged” partner on the ongoing CAP negotiations and to influence debates on the future of CAP in relevant forums at the national and European level (i.e. the Spanish and European Parliaments, the European Commission, as well as regional and national public administrations). 

The launch in the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, was attended by farmers organisations, officials of Agriculture’s Ministry, the independent body responsible for the implementation of European funds in Spain (FEGA), Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development, representatives of scientific investigation bodies (CEIGRAM and CSIC) as well as political party Unidas Podemos and many journalists.

 The formation of the coalition took two years and currently includes 37 members (they are all listed at the end of this post). During this consolidation process they managed to agree on twenty priorities formulating concrete demands and proposals with regard to the CAP’s implementation in Spain, as well to the CAP’s new design at the EU and  International level.

Por Otra Pac’s vision is to reach an agroecological transition that ensures sustainable, just, responsible and healthy argi-food systems. Their mission is “true reform” of the CAP which is beneficial to all citizens. For that the CAP should be:

  • fair and equitable to those engaged in agriculture, livestock breeding and with other inhabitants of rural areas. Provide decent working conditions for those producers who are committed to sustainability, creating jobs in the villages;
  • healthy, in a way that ensures that all have access to a healthy and sustainable diet;
  • respectful to the environment, supporting good agricultural practices that produce food whilst preserving natural resources, climate, biodiversity and animal welfare and
  • globally responsible, considering the sustainable development of the whole planet and the impact on producers within and outside EU borders.

The Coalition’s origin, as with the Italian initiative, goes back to the European campaign the LivingLand, in Spain Por un Campo Vivo, created by environmental organizations in 2017 following the public consultation on the PAC beyond 2020 launched by EU-Commission. 

Inés Jordana, responsible for Food and Agriculture in SEO/Birdlife, who co-coordinates the Coalition, explains that during the LivingLand campaign they realized that food and agriculture concerns go beyond environmental impact and that they needed to collaborate with more actors and organisations that work on related issues such as social justice concerns, supporting women and young people and small-scale farmers. A wide-reaching alliance was needed.  In December 2017, SEO/BirdLife and WWF Spain organized a workshop to explore the potential of building such an alliance, mapping the actors that have been working on the CAP in Spain. They then turned to Pour Une Autre PAC, to study their structure and work and learn from them. Working in such a broad alliance improves the advocacy capacity of many organisations working on agroecological transition, as well as increasing the diversity of debates and participation. 

PorOtraPac’s political work include promotion of their vision of the future CAP through coordinated actions with similar platforms at the European level. Accordingly, Por Otra PAC, in January 2019 attended the annual demonstration Meine Landwirtschaft “Wir haben es satt” in Berlin, participated actively in the campaign Good Food Good Farming 2018, assisted in the 2018 EU Food and Farming Forum (EU3F) in Brussels organized by IPES Food and  recently also adapted and translated into Spanish the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s publication regarding facts and figures on EU farming policy, initially launched in Germany, France,  and Italy.

The 2019 Agriculture Atlas is a collaboration between the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Friends of the Earth Europe and Birdlife Europe.

The Spanish version, Atlas de la PAC , was officially presented in Spain and includes four chapters particularly relevant to Spain, which support many of the claims and proposals included in the coalition’s twenty priorities. These chapters are: Mediterranean Agriculture: Water and Climate; Systems of High Natural Value in Spain (SHNV): Food – toward sustainable diets; ¿Does the CAP supports the agroecological transition in Spain? Their contents were coordinated by Coalition’s members such as Mensa Civica- European Alliance For Sustainable Collective Catering; Ecovalia- Association of Ecological Value that promotes organic production,  SEAE/A -Spanish Society of Organic Agriculture and Agroecology; Asociacion Transhumancia y Naturaleza and Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua. Two first chapters are also included in the English version of the Atlas launched this week at the EU level.

What issues does Por Otra PAC prioritise? How does it envisage an agroecological transition? Stay tuned for Part II. 

Por Otra PAC Members

Academia Española de Nutrición y Dietética- Spanish Academy for Nutritions and Diets

Asociación Gallega de Custodia del Territorio / Galician Association of Territory Stewardship

Asociación Trashumancia y Naturaleza Association for Transhumance and Nature

Asociación Vida Sana Association Healthy Live

Asturias Sostenible Sustainable Asturias

CECU Confederation of Consumers and Users

CERAI Rural Studies and Internation Agricultre  Center –Developement  ONG

Ecodes / Foudation for Ecology and Development

Ecologistas en Acción  / Ecologist in Action

Ecovalia /Association of Ecological Value

Entretantos / Entretantos Foundation

Fedehesa / Spanish Dehesa Federation

FRECT / The Forum of Networks and Entities of  the Territory Stewardship

Fundación Global Nature / Global Nature Foundation

Fundación FIRE / FIRE Fountation

Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua / New Water’s Culture Foundation

Fundación Emys / Ems Fountation

Fundación Pau Costa / Pau Costa Foundation

Fundación Quebrantahuesos / Quebrantahuesos Fountation

Fundación Vida Sostenible / Foundation Sustainable Life

Ganaderas en Red / Cattle-women in Network

Germinando / Cooperative of social initiative, in the field of environment and education.

GOB Menorca / Balear Island Group of Ornithology and Defense of Nature


GREFA / Rehabilitation group of the NativeFauna and its Habitat.

Justicia Alimentaria / Food Justice Assosiation

La Cuadra de Antón / Sustainable Restaurant in Gijon, Asturias

Madrid Agroecológico / Agrecological Madrid

Mensa Cívica / European Alliance For Sustainable Collective Catering

Observatorio para una Cultura del Territorio / Obseravatory for Territory’s Culture

Plataforma por la Ganadería Extensiva / Extensive Cattle Farmninf Platform

Red de Ciudades por la Agroecología / Networ of Cities for Agroecology

Red Terrae / Network of AgroEcological Reserve Territories


Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica / Spanish Society of Organic Agriculture and Agroecology

WWF-España / WWF Spain

Xarxa de Custodia del Territori./ Network of Territory Stewardship


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About Marta Zygadlo 5 Articles

Marta Zygadlo is a lawyer based in Barcelona, Spain. Her professional background is Law, which she studied in Poland, Germany and Spain. Having practiced several years in trademark law, she decided to shift her career and to specialize in areas that she is passionate about – those related to food systems. At the moment, she is completing the Master in Food, Society and International Food Governance at the Open University of Catalonia. Her interests encompass topics and areas like sustainable food systems, food security based on the right to food, food sovereignty, food law and food policies.