Slow Food, along with more than 80 civil society organizations in a joint letter to the European Commission, asks to phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035, restore biodiversity, and support farmers in their transition towards agroecology. The letter has been sent to the Commission’s directorate-generals, responsible for the implementation of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies and to Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans.
With ever more people unable to do their everyday groceries, increasing signs of solidarity and resistance emerge from throughout the Slow Food network across the Balkans and Turkey.
Now, more than ever, the direct supply chains remain of the vital importance to safeguard people’s access to food. However, many farmers’ markets that Slow Food initiated across the region – including several Earth Markets – have either been shut down or are operating under limited capacities. Slow Food farmers and producers, though, have found a way to provide fresh food products for their communities. Across the Balkans and Anatolia, our small-scale artisan farmers keep delivering food door to door.
The current outbreak of the coronavirus #COVID19 has disrupted the lives of almost every country in the world. With Europe currently being an epicenter of the pandemic, many countries are under lockdown, with people confined to their homes, schools, and workplaces closed, and only essential businesses still operating.
As Slow Food, we want to send out a message of solidarity to all those hard hit by this crisis, who are countless, also within our movement. Think, for instance, of the restaurants that had to close for weeks. We also want to send out a message of hope: in Italy, where our mothership is based, kids have been hanging at their windows big drawings saying “Tutto andrà bene” – everything will be fine.
Temperatures are rising and so are the oceans. Fires are decimating forests and lakes are drying up. The intensity, as well as frequency, of droughts and hurricanes, are predicted to escalate. And as if this weren’t enough, the climate crisis is claiming the lives of the world’s most efficient pollinators – bumblebees. Research from the University of Ottawa, which focused on 66 bumblebee species across North America and Europe, revealed that extreme temperatures and changes in precipitation are risking their survival. One is half as likely to spot a bumblebee in places where they were once a ubiquitous sight – and this has happened within one human generation.
Despite many events having been canceled due to Coronavirus, the Pesticide Action Week is back once again celebrating its fifteenth year online. The upcoming ten days from March 20 to 30 are dedicated to raising awareness around chemical pesticides and the dangers of their use both for human health and the environment.
For over 20 years, the French organization “Generations Futures” has been working on the issue of chemical pesticides and the harm they cause. Every year, at the beginning of spring, it calls farmers, organizations and institutional actors together, grouping of over 50 international partners, including Slow Food.
Slow Food, in its feedback to the European Commission’s consultation on the Farm to Fork Strategy, asserts that the strategy needs to fundamentally shift the narrative, away from one of needing to “feed the world” and towards ensuring everyone has access to good, clean and fair food. The strategy is a key component of the European Green Deal and is expected to be officially launched at the end of March.*
There have been several petitions supporting bees launched in the past; however, the European Citizens’ Initiative “Save Bees and Farmers” differs from the others.
The European Citizens’ Initiative is the only direct democracy tool designed for Europeans to influence the EU decision-making process. Although it has its flaws, it is the sole and the most effective way to make the European Commission and the Parliament listen and consider improving the existing laws and regulations.
Slow Food Europe, along with other European civil society organizations, asks the European Commission not to compromise the public health and the European Green Deal. In the joint letter, addressed to the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, organizations draw attention to the current debate about whether to loosen the rules of residues of certain pesticides on imported products. The organizations believe that such a compromise would go against the Commission’s ambitions to reduce the EU’s dependency on pesticides.
Slow Food, along with other Italian non-governmental organizations, supports the letter of more than 3600 European scientists. The letter, which has been sent to the EU institutions, draws attention to the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as among the main factors that have led to the current climate emergency and biodiversity loss, as well as the failure to meet the socio-economic targets for rural areas.
In a joint letter to the European Commission, Slow Food Europe, along with other 20+ civil society organizations, calls for less meat, dairy, and eggs in the Farm to Fork Strategy. The strategy has neither addressed the inherent unsustainability of current animal farming in Europe nor included clear consumption reduction strategies to tackle the public health emergency.