Latest from EU Member States

France | Meet The Farmer-Bakers Proving Their Skills

Sébastien loves bread. Shaped by a farming background, he was drawn to cooking, but experience taught him that the reality in the kitchen was very far from his ideals. Fabienne studied accounting and worked a corporate job in the city. She was happy to team up with her husband Sébastien on the farm in the West of France. Here in their on-farm bakery, between batches of bread, they share their views on life as farmer-bakers. […]

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Ireland | Intensive Farms Must Pull their Weight for a Just Transition

Not all agri-sectors have the same impact. As the debate in Ireland over greenhouse gas emissions cuts for economic sectors intensifies, who is thinking about the fair share within sectors? Here we republish an article from Rural Ireland on the Move, our report from April this year. In it, Fintan Kelly  – agriculture and land use policy and advocacy officer with the Irish Environmental Network – examines the idea of a fair share on emissions within agriculture.  […]

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What France Can Teach Us About Rural Resilience

In the past two years, ARC2020 has been listening closely to voices on the ground in the French countryside. What have we learned? What do the participants have to say? And what’s next for the Nos Campagnes en Résilience project? The key themes emerging from the research so far were presented to the project participants at an online gathering in June, when a lively discussion helped to collectively shape the direction for the future. Report by the Nos Campagnes en Résilience team. […]

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UK | Truth Waits In All Things

What’s next for our countrysides? Before we even begin to consider re-scaling the rural, we must slow down and work in deep collaboration and coproduction – with all. This requires deep listening to the voices on the ground. But also trusting farmers and artists, who are skilled at working alongside and within communities, human and nonhuman. Otherwise we will continue to do the countryside a disservice, argues Kate Genever. […]

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Farming with Benefits – Building Soil and Community

“Am I really prepared to poison the kids?” wondered American wheat farmer Klaas Martens, after an injury that he suspects was caused by herbicides. He has since converted the whole farm to organic. These days, he pays attention to the story his ‘weeds’ tell him, nurturing the community of organisms in his soil – and building community knowledge among farmers. Excerpt from a book by Marianne Landzettel. […]

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France | Farming by Numbers part 1

Stéphane loves numbers, and it’s a formula for the success of the six-hectare horticulture farm, GAEC Le Jardin des Pierres Bleues, that he runs together with three associates and one employee in Vay, north-west France. By his calculation, everyone gets to earn a dignified living, true to their principles and to nature. Free of debt, and free of CAP subsidies… In conversation with Valérie Geslin. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Investing In The Future

We’re back on Zsámboki Biokert organic market garden in Hungary, where Matthew and Kata Hayes and the team are taking time to plan for the year ahead. January was a time to reflect on the year gone by, and the conscious effort that the farm is making to invest in the next generation, and to encourage young people to think about our food systems. In these uncertain times for micro-scale farmers, and for farming in general, Covid has driven home the need to build and maintain community and common values, writes Matthew.  […]

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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 Valérie Geslin. […]

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Letter From The Farm | Calving, Lambing – and Timing

We’re back on Shane Casey’s farm in Co. Clare, Ireland, where winter is an active period of herding livestock that are outwintered amidst the limestone pavements of The Burren. There’s decisions to be made about when to bring ewes inside to lamb, and cows home to calve. Considerations of animal welfare, economic viability, and conservation grazing are all factors in determining when the time is right. […]

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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, Valérie Geslin, project coordinator for Nos Campagnes en Résilience, unpacks their experiments in rural resilience. […]

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European Action Days 2021 – Good Food Good Farming on the Ground

This October the pan-European Good Food Good Farming European Days of Action took place with decentralised events across Europe for the fourth time. 188 events were organised in 18 different countries fighting for better food and farming in Europe and across the world. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, more events than ever were organised during the action month. […]

Latest from the ARC network

UK | Supply Chains No Longer Fit For Purpose

Farmers in England and Wales want to move away from centralised supply chains where they say they have little influence over prices, not enough connection to consumers, and are not rewarded for delivering positive climate and nature outcomes. This is according to the findings of Sustain in its report ‘Beyond the Farmgate’ which lays out the results of a new survey of 500 English and Welsh farmers. […]