Footprint Action in Berlin: “Vote out the agricultural industry – Kick-off Agricultural Change!”

22 Jan 2021

Agriculture change alliance (“Wir haben es satt) demanded sustainable agriculture policy in Berlin during a successful “Footprint Action” – ten thousand people voted with their feet for farmers, animals and the environment.

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@Slow Food Germany

Last Saturday, the “Wir haben es satt!” alliance, including Slow Food Germany, brought around 10,000 footprints in front of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Farmers, animal welfare activists, environmentalists and sustainable consumers demonstrated for a change in agricultural policy, asking for a transition towards a sustainable, fair and green agriculture in Germany and in Europe. The movement’s message to Chancellor Merkel was clear: “Vote out the agricultural industry – kick off agricultural change”!

Cheap food is a dead end that helps neither agriculture nor consumers. We demand: stop the loss of family farms, support barn improvements and cut back livestock numbers, phase out pesticides and reject genetic engineering and the EU-Mercosur trade deal.”, stated Saskia Richartz, “Wir haben es satt!” spokeswoman, on behalf of the 60 alliance member organizations.

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@Slow Food Germany

Due to the COVID pandemic, the alliance had to find creative ways of engaging people and encourage them to voice their demands for a better future for farmers, animals and the environment. Thus, the idea of organising an online footprint action was born!

Instead of taking the streets, around 10,000 people shared pictures of their footprints on social media from the safety of their homes. “Wir haben es satt!” received countless foot and boot prints, as well as tractor tracks, along with powerful demands: “Save insects”, “Small and family-sized farms instead of agricultural deserts”, “Choose manure on the shoe instead of CDU” or “Freedom of movement, also for pigs” etc.

“We are happy to have been part of this action, representing thousands of Slow Food supporters and critical citizens.”, said Nina Wolff, acting Chair of Slow Food Germany. “We need a food system that offers incentives to farmers to put biodiversity and climate conservation at the centre of their work – that is so essential to society. It is up to political leaders to enable producers to provide good, clean and fair food for all!”

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@Slow Food Germany

One particular message struck the organizers’ attention: four generations of a family from Hamburg sent their demands for agricultural change – from 3 to 93 years old.

Ahead of the protest, a delegation of farmers rallied with their tractors in front of the CDU headquarters – Angela Merkel’s political family and Germany’s leading party for the past 15 years, to protest against German agriculture policy.

 

Background

In the “Wir haben es satt!” alliance, conventional and organic farmers protest alongside civil society against the fatal consequences of intensive industrial agriculture. Collectively, the alliance demonstrates ways for a sustainable, rural agriculture, which offers more protection for the environment, animals and the climate –thereby meeting the demands of the public, as well as offering sound economic perspectives for farmers www.wir-haben-es-satt.de

Check Slow Food Europe webpage and get the latest information on food and agricultural systems in Europe.

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