For the fourth year in a row, Slow Food Europe joined the European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming, which took place across Europe last October. For the occasion, Slow Food networks organized over 30 events in many European countries to promote agrobiodiversity and discuss environmentally- and climate-friendly agriculture and food practices.
2021 : A Pivotal Moment for the Future of European Policies on Food and Farming
While the Farm to Fork strategy is entering into full speed through analysis, consultations, and revisions of its several targets concerning pesticides, labelling, animal welfare, etc, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform will take a pause after the final vote taking place at the European Parliament at the end of November, determining the EU’s agricultural policies for the upcoming years (2023-2027).
During the October Action Days for Good Food and Good Farming, civil society and farming organizations organized over 181 events (more than ever! ) in 18 European countries 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 support it. We ask policy makers to do the same”! These European Days of Action have been challenging decision-makers for years to make sure that the Common Agricultural Policy includes the targets of the EU Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, 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.
The Slow Food networks organised several meaningful activities to remind EU decision makers of 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.
European Slow Food Networks Promote Dialogue and Action on Good Food and Good Farming
Slow Food Nederland launched its political recommendations to local politicians for local food policy ahead of the March 2022 municipal elections in the Netherlands, by organising a small demonstration in Eindhoven.
Meanwhile, events organised by Slow Food Campania, in Italy, were dedicated to the harvest of autumn seasonal products such as chestnuts and saffron, with the aim of bringing farmers, citizens and local decision makers together to discuss options for supporting local farmers and their role in preserving biodiversity. Across the other side of the Alps in France, a local group organised a visit, inviting citizens to discover an apiary, the extraction and the potting of honey with a focus on the local Black Landes bee. Further east, the Slow Food network in Slovakia organized a conference on agroecological production in the new programming period of the Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027: the conference saw the participation of small-scale local farmers and craft producers, who explained what makes the prodcution of natural food at the local level possible, mentioning their use of forgotten and endangered food. The conference highlighted the main problems connected to agricultural subsidies, which fail to support small scale, agroecological and biodiverse farming.
Other events were organised by the Slow Food networks in Spain, Croatia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Latvia, Poland, and Romania with activities and events 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.
Keeping the Pressure High at the EU Level
The coming months and years will be a challenge: the main economic instrument available to shape agriculture in Europe, the Common Agricultural Policy (which accounts for about 35% of the EU budget), is not equipped to help tackle the environmental and social challenges ahead. The Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategy set high level targets that still have to become reality: we have to make sure these, and other even more ambitious policies end up on decision makers tables. Slow Food, together with, the Good Food Good Farming movement will keep on working hard for a fair, green, and healthy food system in Europe, that is good for the people, for the animals and for the planet.
Even though the CAP reform will go under the radar for a few years, our energy and motivation remain high! Sustainable food and farming without pesticides, with support for agroecological farmers, animal friendly agriculture and biodiversity will remain at centre stage, and we will keep demanding them across Europe!
Check out the video made by GFGF activists around Europe to raise awareness about Good Food Good Farming and share our demands on social media !
.@EU_Commission: We demand #GoodFoodGoodFarming that follows this recipe:
🐷 high animal welfare & less meat on our plates
👧🧑🤝🧑 lively rural areas & more young people in farming!
👩🍳Let’s cook up a better agrifood future for people, animals & the planet!@GFGFActionDays pic.twitter.com/3jAYT3WUe3
— Slow Food Europe (@SlowFoodEurope) October 25, 2021