The European Elections on May 23-26 are just around the corner. Slow Food Europe calls everyone to vote for the candidates who respect European values and care about the future of European agriculture and food.
The forthcoming European elections will set the tone for the future of Europe. Over the last few years, the unity of Europeans and the strength of our values have been put through many tests. The 2014 European Parliament elections saw historically low voter turnout, averaging at 42.61% across Europe; with only about one in four young Europeans (18-24- year-olds) voting in the elections.
Slow Food Europe together with Slow Food Youth Network has prepared you a list of reasons on why YOU absolutely need to vote in the European Elections. Stop scrolling and get ready to vote!
Our answers on Twitter in the third week of action.
Since 2005, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has included measures to protect grassland. Nevertheless, important areas of grassland particularly rich in structure and flowers are shrinking. The CAP measures often lack the necessary structure for implementation and are associated with a high level of bureaucracy and disproportionate controls. There is also a lack of financial incentives for farms to create and maintain areas of high natural value.
Due to the intensive use of agricultural land, birds lose important breeding sites. As a result of monocultures, lack of natural vegetation, over-fertilization, and the intensive use of pesticides which kill insects and “weeds”, their supply of food is constantly decreasing. The water necessary for the animals to survive is also overused and polluted by intensive agriculture.
A change in agricultural methods is essential for the protection and conservation of biodiversity. The EU must not continue to promote farms that threaten nature and biodiversity through intensive land use.
Seeds are the basis of our nutrition. It has been a public good for thousands of years and has been further developed and exchanged by farmers. Since the 20th century, however, agricultural companies have been trying to privatize this common good increasingly. And with great success: In 2017 alone, 25 patents were granted by the European Patent Office on, among other things, the cultivation of vegetable varieties such as onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and cucumbers.
We call on the EU decision-makers to safeguard the diversity of our crops. Access to seeds and their further development must also be guaranteed in the future!
Slow Food is committed to a sustainable food system worldwide. To achieve this, the movement has long argued in favor of having an EU food policy that treats the topic of agriculture and food production in an interdepartmental and thus holistic way. It is a fact that the climatic and environmental impacts, the loss of biodiversity, and the negative health and socio-economic effects of the current food system affect the future of our food and our planet.
However, many policies affecting the food system have so far pursued different objectives and even produced contradictory results. We need more policy coherence.
It is especially difficult for young farmers who want to cultivate resources in a beautiful way to build a future in the countryside. They often lack capital and political support. Horrendous rental prices and the ownership situation on the farms often stand in the way of setting up a business.
With the €60 billion of the CAP, young farmers and producers working in the agricultural sector should receive significantly more support in land allocation and be given greater consideration in the distribution of funds.
Food waste is a topical and urgent issue at EU level. In addition to economic costs and ethical consequences, it also has a significant impact on our environment.
Reduction measures must be achieved through higher food-value estimation and needs-based production. What we need is a system change. Moving away from industrial agriculture towards an agricultural and food system that minimizes or even avoids food waste at the beginning of the production chain.
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Indre Anskaityte, Slow Food Europe