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UK | The Grassroots Groups Shifting Ground on Land Justice

The racialised history of British soil has consequences that are very much felt today. However where industrial scale farming is failing, the grassroots is doing what it does best, building fertile ground for a new food system that nurtures diversity. High-profile agroecology events such as this weekend’s Land Skills Fair are spotlighting land justice. This is thanks to the work of many projects that together are gradually shifting the ground for land justice. Ursula Billington reports. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Learning from a Campesino Family in Cuba

In Cuba, food security is still a challenge after years of wars to fight against colonialism, imperialism and climate change. Yet, the island is far beyond the European Green Deal objectives, having largely achieved most of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity targets that the EU aspires to attain by 2030. One Cuban farm is going even further. Welcome to La Finca del Medio, a 13.42-hectare family farm located in central Cuba, which is championing food sovereignty in the agroecological way. Matteo Metta writes from the farm. […]

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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.  […]

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Reversing Rule and Exception – Transformative New Integrated Policy for Rural Agri & Food presented in European Parliament 

A book filled with “extraordinary examples of ongoing transformations of our rural world” was launched in the European Parliament this week. Key political stakeholders – including European Parliament President Roberta Metsola, Isabel Estrada Carvalhais, and Dacian Ciolos – agreed on the need to start to build a process to explore and develop ideas contained therein- including a radical new Regulation. So what are these ideas? […]

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More Food less Feed – Agriculture and the War on Ukraine

An appalling war on Ukraine has manifold impacts. The direct human cost is immense and incalculable. The impacts on the world’s agri-food trade and commodity systems will be huge. The 4 F’s  – fuel, feed, fertilizer and of course food are all heavily implicated. So what to do? Will Europe suspend progress on rerouting the food system towards more resilience, by doubling down into the worst aspects of these 4 F’s? Or can some aspects of a deeper iteration of food sovereignty emerge?  […]

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France | Change Is In Our Hands – Part 2

Far from the stereotype of the solitary farmer, Marion and Benjamin make a conscious effort to get farming out of its bubble. It’s the only way they’ll shift mentalities, they believe. The two farmers, who are associates in a cooperative mixed farm in Brittany, also open up on the thorny issues of unpaid activism, taking holidays as a farmer, and feeding the community versus feeding the world. Part 2 of an interview with ValĂ©rie Geslin. […]

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In Full – Agroecology Europe Barcelona Letter

Here is the full text of Agroecology Europe’s Barcelona Letter on Agroecology. Policy and investments, inclusion and participation, rural-urban connections, pricing, breeding, technology and transition all feature in this call out for a different approach to how we the people do farming, land and food. […]

Events

Event | Soup and Talk 2022 on January 22nd

The Soup & Talk 2022 good food and good farming slam is happening via Zoom on Saturday, January 22nd from 17:00 to 20:00 CET.  The much-loved Soup and Talk event traditionally takes place at the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin, with inspiring agri-food initiatives and hot soup welcoming hundreds of freezing demonstrators in out of the cold after Europe’s biggest protest for a better food system. […]

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France | Change Is In Our Hands – Part 1

Marion and Benjamin are pig and dairy farmers on a community funded farm in Brittany, France. Agricultural engineers by training, they have reverse engineered the process of farming to make sure they get to take time off and make a decent living. In part 1 of a fascinating conversation, ValĂ©rie Geslin, project coordinator for Nos Campagnes en RĂ©silience, unpacks their experiments in rural resilience. […]

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Oxford Real Farming Conference 2022 | Plenty To Chew On!

The New Year gets off to an exciting start with the Oxford Real Farming Conference on January 5th-7th 2022. Back online this year, the conference has added social justice strings to its bow with new partners that focus on land rights and  equality. As well as the traditional menu of sessions on sustainable farming practices and policy, food sovereignty and supply chains, the event will bring in indigenous perspectives from around the globe. Ursula Billington reports on what not to miss. […]

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Letter From The Farm | The Slower Path To Paradigm Change

We’re back on Chiara Garini’s farm at the foot of the Italian Alps. After her ambitious plans to open an on-farm restaurant, Chiara reflects on the benefits of taking the slower path to paradigm change. Paradoxically this setback serves well her overall vision of agri-food systems as the farm continues to reap the benefits of diversification. Meanwhile in local politics, divisive narratives around farming have led to a disappointing development, leaving Chiara more convinced than ever that agroecology is the way forward.   […]

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Letter From The Farm | Meet The New Peasants

Isabella Lang has been working on her friends’ farm in the Austrian Alps since the spring. After four years in the Brussels bubble, she was keen to get her hands back in the soil. It’s been several months of hard work, long days, amazing food, and a healthy pace of life. In this first letter Isabella introduces us to the farm. Meet the new peasants. […]

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Farm to Fork Strategy: Ambitious, Realistic Innovation Pathway for the European food System

Since the release of the Farm to Fork strategy, the Commission has faced a considerable amount of criticism, which generally cites the potential economic and food security impacts of F2F. Here IDDRI experts analyse the methodological limitations underlying this criticism and shows that a more systemic approach instead reinforce the relevance, coherence and realism of the Commission’s strategy. […]