Slow Food Europe launches its action for the upcoming European Elections in May, urging candidates for the European Parliament and citizens of the European Union to take responsibility for the future of Europe.
In its Manifesto, Slow Food Europe draws attention to critical policy areas which will play a fundamental role in building sustainable food and farming systems in Europe over the next five years.
Current trends show that Europe food systems are far from ideal: in 2016, 9.1% of the EU population was unable to afford a quality meal every second day (Eurostat 2017); between 2003 and 2013, more than a quarter of European farms disappeared (Eurostat 2015); 20% of the food produced in the EU is lost or wasted each year (EC).
The Manifesto of Slow Food Europe provides concrete suggestions for future decision-makers on how to fix these problems, focusing on six different issues:
- the transition towards a Common Food Policy (i.e. to put an end to conflicting policy objectives and costly inefficiencies, to involve a wider range of stakeholders, etc.)
- the Common Agricultural Policy (i.e. to ensure public money for public goods, to support marginal areas, etc.)
- Climate Change (i.e. to give centre stage to sustainable food and farming systems, to promote the establishment of a binding Union-wide food waste reduction target, etc.)
- Biodiversity (i.e. to ensure that the conventional breeding of plants and animals is kept free from patent claims, clarifying that new techniques of genetic engineering fall under EU legislation on GMOs; to support the development of a dedicated legally binding framework covering the main soil threats, including biodiversity loss, etc.)
- Marine Ecosystems (i.e. to promote the inclusive governance of the seas and oceans, to ensure that the 2020 deadline for ending overfishing is met; to back the EU ban on throwaway plastics, etc.)
- Respect of people and the environment (i.e. to ensure that EU laws enshrine the duty of corporations to respect human rights and the environment throughout their operations worldwide, etc.)
“These are issues that are at the core of Slow Food’s mission and on which European decision-makers will have a say in the next few years. It is imperative that candidates for the European Parliament and voters alike take a stand for the sustainability of food systems in Europe and globally,” says Marta Messa, director of Slow Food’s European Office.
Meanwhile today, the Slow Food Youth Network celebrates the third edition of World Disco Soup Day, which addresses food waste by making soup from vegetables that would have been thrown away in various European cities, including Amsterdam, Berlin and Rome. The events in Europe will also encourage young voters to cast their votes for candidates who stand for a sustainable future. Building up to the elections, the Slow Food Youth Network will organize photo actions and reverse graffiti campaigns. The map of the World Disco Soup Day Events in Europe is available here.
Slow Food Europe and our Youth Network are certain: #FoodisPolitics
We cannot just blame decision-makers: we elect them. That is why Slow Food Europe has joined the Europe-wide This Time I’m Voting campaign, which unites dozens of European non-governmental organizations, calling upon EU citizens to vote. Have your say! Vote for the candidates who respect European values and care about the future of European agriculture and food. Together, we can shape the Europe that we want.
Indre Anskaityte, Slow Food Europe