Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | Thriving In The Ford

We’re back on Chiara’s mushroom farm at the foot of the Italian Alps, where forest farm life goes on regardless of the lockdown. She is determined to get her on-farm processing facility up and running for this season. During the Covid-19 crisis she’s been even more socially isolated than usual, giving her time to muse on the deeper meanings of the “ford”: the site of her farm, but also a metaphor for agroforesty and agroecology. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Ireland | Remote Work Could Rejuvenate Rural Communities

We don’t know yet what the “new normal” will look like, but we do know that remote work can work – with the right supports. In Ireland, the pull of jobs in the city and abroad has hollowed out rural areas, and young graduates have little incentive to return home after completing their studies in Dublin. Many young graduates from rural areas would jump at the chance to stay put and pursue their careers remotely, rather than facing crippling rents in Dublin, or a crippling commute. Now is the time for a paradigm shift in working life to rejuvenate rural communities, argues Luke Kent. […]

Main stories

Covid19, Meat Processing Plants and the Limits of the Intensive Farming Model

While the exploitation of agri-food sector workers is a longstanding food system issue, the emergence of slaughterhouses across Europe and the US as coronavirus hotspots has brought renewed urgency and heightened awareness to issues relating to the conditions to which meat-plant workers are exposed. Alison Brogan rounds up the Covid19 news on this topic from the US, Ireland and Germany. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Letter From The Farm | The Resilience and Privilege of a Rural Homestead

We’re back on Brindusa’s farm in Romania, where the Covid-19 crisis has halted her main sales. On the flip side she’s seeing a lot more interest in local food. She’s been doing a lot of thinking about food justice and the informal economy. The lockdown has made her take stock of her privilege. And so this year she’s determined to feed more people than ever. The only question is, how will she distribute this year’s bumper crop? […]

Latest from EU Member States

Rough Ride for East European Workers in Seasonal Veg

Low cost labour intensive vegetable production has been under strain in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of seasonal workers have moved from east to west –  as they do each year. This year is not, however, a typical year. Covid19 has added new dimensions, while also shining a spotlight on an otherwise hidden army of harvesters. But is harvesting the white gold more valuable than the health of Romanian farm workers? […]

Recent updates

ARC2020 and Rural Europe in times of Covid-19

It is difficult to grasp the scale of the situation we face with covid-19. People’s lives change fundamentally. So do our societies and economies. We face massive reductions: less mobility, no physical meetings, no open markets, no cultural events. We are living in isolation. How can we, how can our societies adjust to this new reality? How can we as ARC2020, as European network, research community, news provider and advocacy platform contribute to keeping civic movements alive and active around sustainable farming, food supply and transition towards better farming, food supply and ago-environmental practices? […]

Latest from EU Member States

Czech Republic | Keeping Farming & Food in the Family

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, our creaking food systems have triggered a crisis within a crisis. Covid-19 has sounded the alarm on the planet’s unsustainable agricultural systems. Small-scale farms are vital links in the resilient local supply chains we need to build. But in the Czech Republic small farmers face challenges, and a six-week closure of farmers markets has hit hard. Louise Kelleher reports. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Coping with Covid – Struggles and Resilience of Small-Scale Cheesemakers in Italy

For Raflazz farm resilience is a way of life. The Adami family has been making artisanal cheese for generations here in the hills of Piedmont. When Italy shut down its restaurants on March 9, the farm had nowhere to sell its cheeses and meat. In another brutal blow, receipts from the farmhouse restaurant and B&B disappeared overnight. Raflazz is adapting fast, but like many small-scale farms it will need life support to survive the lockdown. Emanuele Amo reports from Piedmont. […]

Latest from Brussels

Commission Announces Return of Private Milk Storage

The EU Commission announced today private storage aid for meat and dairy, flexibility for market support programmes in wine, fruits and vegetables, olive oil, apiculture and the EU’s school scheme (milk, fruits and vegetables) and derogation from some EU competition rules in milk, flowers and potatoes. […]

Main stories

Coping with Covid19 – Disruption, Protectionism and a People’s Agroecology

While it can feel undeniably overwhelming at times, its also important to remain informed and focused on how we can achieve better food, farming and a rural space – even in our new context. Much of the last month has been rightly focused on going back to basics – food, shelter, medicine. If we must go back to basics, and refocus on primary production, so be it. So what does this mean? […]

Latest from Brussels

IPES-Food on Covid-19: Protect the Vulnerable, Build Resilience, Stay Vigilant

The Covid-19 pandemic has put our food systems to the test, exposing the vulnerabilities of an unsustainable status quo. In a communiqué released on Tuesday, IPES-Food slams shortsighted solutions to the crisis. Calling for a paradigm shift to agroecological farming, it says now is the time to transform the seeds of change into the foundations of a resilient new food system. Industrial food systems are being peddled as solutions when in fact they are the problem. Louise Kelleher reports. […]