Latest from Brussels

Is Food Security A Relevant Argument Against Environmental Measures In The EU?

Toilet paper was at a premium, wine was scarce, but the Covid-19 crisis was not a threat to food security. Meanwhile a more insidious threat persists beyond the pandemic, as CAP payments – intended to buy food security for the EU – continue to sponsor the destruction of the environment in which our food grows. It’s time to dump the food security narrative, argue Guy Pe’er and Sebastian Lakner. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Europe’s Agroecology Movement – Stepping up in Times of Covid19

Four innovative and committed agroecology initiatives showed how they stepped up in times of Covid19 at a webinar organised by Forum Synergies and ARC2020 last week. And dozens, from all over Europe and beyond, got involved in the conversation. Alison Brogan tells us about this event which provided a moment to reflect, some key contemporary learnings, and which sowed the seeds of further action. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Germany | Islanders Go Digital

If remote rural communities want to be part of the conversations that will shape their futures, the ability to connect with other projects and stakeholders is a crucial skill. For one island community, the coronavirus crisis was a crash course in online networking. Hannes Lorenzen reports on Eco-Week 2020 and the digital leap forward on his home island of Pellworm, Germany. […]

Events

Webinar | Growing Food Resilience in Covid19 times – New Tools and Approaches for Agroecology

At this Webinar we will learn about new tools and approaches agroecological communities have developed since Covid-19. In the face of an extra, massive challenge, communities all over Europe have stepped up and developed creative responses for distributing good food. A number of examples will be presented and discussed with the practitioners themselves, while there will be a real focus on co-learning and next steps for deepening our collective food resilience. […]

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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. […]

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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. […]