Good Food Good Farming: The Slow Food Network in Action

For the sixth year in a row, Slow Food joined the European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming, which took place across Europe throughout October.

31 Oct 2023

Every year, thousands of citizens and hundreds of organizations host disco soups, (DA VERIFICARE) farm visits and cooking events; join protests and harvests; and attend panel discussions, film screenings, and many more events in their local communities. 

This year, communities from across our European network organized more than 20 events to promote sustainable food systems and discuss agrobiodiversity and environmentally friendly agriculture and food practices. 

2023: A (Potentially) Pivotal Year for the Future of European Policies on Food and Farming

By the end of September 2023, the European Commission was expected to publish its proposal for a legal framework on sustainable food systems (aka the Sustainable Food Systems Law or SFS Law), which aims to integrate sustainability into all food-related policies by setting EU-wide targets, common definitions and principles, and binding measures. 

But when it came to presenting next year’s work program to the European Parliament on October 17, the European Commission clearly stated that transforming food systems is no longer its priority. The promised proposal for sustainable food systems (and animal welfare, which was also part of the plan) are visibly absent. 

As part of the October Action Days for Good Food and Good Farming, civil society and farming organizations organized almost 100 events all over Europe, to support the transition to good food and sustainable farming practices, and to send a clear message to decision-makers at all levels: “Sustainable and fair food and farming exist, and we are here to show it. We ask policymakers to support them!”

This year’s activity map included a diverse and rich set of street protests, farm visits and online conferences organized by a wide range of organizations. 

To send a message to EU decision-makers, Slow Food communities organized more than 20 impactful events spanning the length and breadth of Europe. Across the continent, from Spain to Sweden, Germany to Greece; and in France, Italy, Croatia the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria, our network highlighted the importance of agrobiodiversity, short supply chains and local markets, animal welfare and sustainable husbandry, social inclusion, and food education. Urban Food Policy also held a central role. 

We invited all participants to write down a postcard with their vision for sustainable food systems. Thousands of postcards will be collected and delivered to Member of the European Parliament on November 8, during the protest being organized in Brussels “Food Systems Back on the Table”. 

Sharing our vision of sustainability as part of the European Days of Action Good Food Good Farming

European Slow Food Networks Promote Dialogue and Action on Good Food and Good Farming

In France, Slow Food Pays Catalan transformed unused urban areas into community gardens with edible plants for its citizens while in Italy Slow Food Vesuvio organized educational activities in schools, through the planting of local vegetable varieties in school gardens, and an event at a local market where students interviewed local producers, thereby deepening their knowledge of the importance of agrifood biodiversity.  

The Slow Food network in Greece organized a sailing tour around three Northern Aegean islands to engage with island residents and producers to promote sustainable food systems and Slow Food principles and held discussions highlighting the importance of sustainable practices and community involvement in relation to sustainable fishing practices and the importance of responsible seafood consumption. 

Driving the future of food: activists of the Slow Food Youth Network

In Capannori, Italy, Slow Food hosted the Slow Beans event. This annual gathering raises awareness around the importance of a plant-rich diet for the well-being of both people and the planet and preserving agrifood biodiversity and highlights the key role that school canteens play in promoting these foods. The three-day program included several sessions on the importance of advocacy (DA VERIFICARE) work at the local and European level, involving young participants from all over Europe.  

Slow Food communities in Spain, Croatia, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Romania hosted a range of events and activities dedicated to local food culture, education, food sovereignty and practical workshops. Each organized action included debates, talks, exchanges and education on the current developments of food policies in Europe. 

Sustaining Pressure at the EU Level

On November 8, Slow Food will be among the many civil society groups in Brussels calling on EU leaders to deliver on their promises at a protest organized by Good Food Good Farming “Put Food Systems back on the Table”. 

Put Food Systems Back on the Table Protest Poster

Check out the video made by GFGF activists around Europe to raise awareness about Good Food Good Farming and demand a sustainable food systems law! 

Attenzione

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If you’d like to learn more: 

o   Read the two joint letters Slow Food sent to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in September 2023 to urge the EU to make proposals on SFS Law and on Animal Welfare 

o   Read the Slow Food position paper on Sustainable food systems

o   Read the Slow Food policy brief on animal welfare 

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