This weekend, Slow Food joins tens of thousands gathering in Berlin for the annual “Wir Haben Es Satt! (We are Fed Up) demonstration, which will call on decision-makers to take immediate and consistent actions to protect biodiversity and stop the climate crisis. Protesters from all over Germany and beyond will use the opportunity to voice their discontent with the current industrial agricultural system, demanding healthy food, family farms, organic and agro-ecological agriculture, and fair trade.
Slow Food Europe has joined 30+ organizations calling on the new European Commission leadership to improve the Farm to Fork Strategy. The strategy, which is part of the European Green Deal and is due to be officially presented in spring 2020, aims to design “a fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system.” The undersigned organizations highlight that the strategy lacks clear, ambitious targets and urge the Commission to create “a robust monitoring and evaluation framework that includes corrective measures when targets are missed.”
Slow Food calls on Member States of the European Union to follow the examples of Austria and Germany, which took firm decisions to ban glyphosate. It has been two years since the European Commission renewed the authorization for glyphosate valid until December 2022. The decision to renew the 5-year authorization was made despite the European Parliament 2017’s vote for a full ban of this chemical classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the cancer research agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). The growing wave of citizens’ concern over the use of glyphosate and other plant protection products constitutes an ideal moment to refuse the renewal of the glyphosate authorization in 2022 and push the EU to completely ban this chemical.
The European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming culminated in Strasbourg, where 1000 people gathered at a rally outside the European Parliament to demand urgent action to address the climate and environmental crises in the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). During the month of October, more than 70 actions and events were organized across Europe, as part of the Good Food Good Farming campaign, out of which more than 20 were held by Slow Food networks.
With a workshop and roundtable discussion, Slow Food Europe took part in the European Week of Regions and Cities, the four-day event, taking place in Brussels, Belgium every year. On October 9, a transnational workshop was organized to present experiences and policy recommendations of three-year-long project, “Slow Food-CE: Culture, Heritage, Identity and Food,” which was designed to improve cities’ capacities to showcase and enhance the value of their gastronomic heritage. Meanwhile, in the evening, various stakeholders were invited to a roundtable discussion to talk about short food supply chains.
On October 8th, Slow Food Europe along with other non-governmental organizations, decision-makers, and citizens of the European Union, gathered in Brussels to celebrate the end of a historic European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “End the Cage Age.” During this12-month period, 170 organizations collected 1,617,405 signatures, sending a clear statement: the European Commission would have to take into account a strongly supported demand to eliminate cages for farmed animals across the EU.
For the second year in a row, Slow Food Europe joins the European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming, which during the month of October will take place across Europe. Different Slow Food networks are organizing more than 15 events in Western, Central and Nordic European countries such as Italy, Romania, Latvia, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Finland, and Croatia. The Good Food Good Farming movement unites more than 300 European organizations who joined forces to demand that decision-makers implement food and farming systems that support small farmers and rural livelihoods, as well as protect the soil, water, ecosystems, and biodiversity.
With the new European Commission promising to implement a European Green Deal, the expectations are high for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform to truly address the needs of the environment. The Green Deal should include biodiversity protection strategy and the reduction of the use of pesticides – vital steps to stop the decline of pollinators. On September 21, the second day of the Cheese Festival in Bra, speakers from the European Commission and several European non-governmental organizations discussed how the CAP reform fits into the narrative around the protection of the environment, biodiversity, and sustainable food systems.
A study conducted by Slow Food reveals that the European quality product certification process lacks a comprehensive evaluation, which has led to extremely diverse results and opened the door to the large industry players to market their food as quality products. On September 20, a conference on the quality product certification was organized at the Cheese Festival in Bra, Italy, where European Union officials, representatives of European non-governmental organizations and Slow Food producers discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the European system of geographic indications.