Latest from EU Member States

France | Meet The Farmer-Bakers Proving Their Skills – part 2

Fabienne and Sébastien opened the farm gates a long time ago. In fact, they make a point of visiting other farms, in order to respect different approaches. Finding solutions in cooperative approaches, they helped set up an abattoir co-op with other poultry farmers as a direct, bottom-up response to increasingly complex issues of animal welfare and biosecurity. Part two of a conversation with Valérie Geslin. […]

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Rural Realities | Succession – Passing It (All) On To The Next Generation

For farmers, succession is more than just passing on the physical farm, land and buildings. Once you build up a successful farming enterprise, how do you ensure all of that knowledge and experience is not lost? It’s a question that preoccupies all of the farmers who participated in the “Nos Campagnes en Résilience” project. Part two of a series analysing the hot topics around transition, by the “Nos Campagnes en Résilience” team. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Rural Realities | Feet on the Ground in the Battle for Land

Access to land was the topic of a panel discussion at our rural resilience gathering in north-west France last week. To add to the conversation, we present our findings from research on the ground, over the past two years of the “Nos Campagnes en Résilience” project. In the first of a series on hot topics around transition, we look at land, water and soil – all pivotal issues for socio-ecological transition. Analysis by “Nos Campagnes en Résilience” team. […]

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Four Takeaways From our Rural Resilience Gathering in North West France 

A recent rural resilience gathering in the Loire-Atlantique, France saw farmers, cooks, elected officials, analysts, rural activists, volunteers and more meet to work on the future of the socio-ecological transition. Organised by ARC’s team on the ground in France via the Nos Campagne en Resilience team, and other partners such as the region’s Cooks Alliance, many fruitful talks and experiences were had. So what unfolded? Oliver Moore has some personal observations on his time there. […]

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. […]

Latest from the ARC network

Rural Europe Takes Action | A Shared Space for Food Transition

This extract from “Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual” tells the story of the Sustainable Food Consortium, a group of food activists who came together in Redon, France. We hear in particular about the political, bureaucratic and agro-industrial barriers the Consortium faced, and draw some learnings from this.  […]

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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. […]

Latest from the ARC network

Rural Europe Takes Action | Creative Municipalities

“Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual”, the new book by ARC2020 and Forum Synergies, launches on Tuesday 7 June. As we count down to the launch, today we share another extract from the book: the story of a creative municipality that is bringing people into agri-food policymaking. From the story of Plessé and other stories, our book draws action points for policymakers on supporting local and circular economies. Below we summarise those action points, and then dive into a conversation with Aurélie Mézière, Mayor of Plessé. […]

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France | Growing Vegetables, Seeding Values – Part 2

Why is it so important to open the farm gates to the community? Vegetable grower Vincent explains how he and his colleagues want their market garden, to be a site of coming together as well as a site of production. Vincent also opens up about the challenges of labour – for him as an unlikely ‘boss’, and for the workers who must be incredibly motivated to overcome the tough working conditions. Part 2 of a conversation with Valérie Geslin. […]

Latest from Brussels

France, Food Sovereignty and Feed(ing the World)

In a roundup of recent news, Ashley Parsons find that words and personnel can change, but business-as-usual can keep replying on the institutions to bail them out – no strings attached.  Whatever the level of exposure and risk, whatever the talk of transitioning away from dependencies on agri-industrial inputs, money, it seems, will always be found for keeping the show on the road, whatever the crises.   […]

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Graduation then Desertion – French Ag Students Opting for a Different Path

Last week, French students at Agro Paris Tech  – France’s most prestigious agro-engineering school – staged a “call to desert” during their graduation speech. To desert? Yes, to desert the environmentally destructive engineering positions the university sets them up for after graduation. But these inspiring words and actions of these young people don’t match up to the government’s actions, nor the school’s response. A recap and analysis by Ashley Parsons. […]

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France| Keeping The Wolf From The Door

French farmers aren’t against wolves. Large predators have their role to play in the ecosystem. But with wolf poulations on the rise in many regions, livestock farmers are demanding more supports from the state to keep the wolf from the door. Valérie Geslin reports from Salon à la Ferme in the French Alps. […]

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France | Why Did Le Pen Reap Record Numbers of Rural Votes?

Europe let out a sigh of relief on Sunday night with the announcement of Emmanuel Macron’s victory over far-right candidate Marine Le Pen for the French Presidency. But since her previous bid in 2017, Le Pen’s popularity has increased steadily, especially in rural France. Does her growing appeal point to a rejection of Macron’s techno-solutionism and the failures of his first term? What does it tell us about rural attitudes to Europe? Analysis by Ashley Parsons. […]