By Stanka Becheva, food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe
35,000, loud, colourful and determined people took to the streets of Berlin today to give agriculure ministers from around the world a message: it's time to overhaul policies that promote outdated and dangerous industrial farming.
The US Congress has given the green light to start new trade negotiations with the European Union, raising concerns around potential impacts on EU agriculture.
While the European Commission is aiming for an industry-only deal, the US government is strongly pushing for agriculture to be included in any agreement. This would likely open up the same controversies around food safety and agriculture tariffs that helped sink previous EU-US trade talks.
The European Commission today presented its analysis on how farmers can increase the cultivation of plant proteins in the EU, in an attempt to cut reliance on destructive overseas soy imports for animal feed.
The Good Food Good Farming campaign organised a Disco Soup in front of the Council of the European Union today, calling on EU agriculture ministers to serve up a better future for farming. The campaign, made up of over 80 civil society groups (including seven Friends of the Earth groups), representing farmers, food activists, and environmental organizations, drew attention to the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and delivered 100,000 signatures of EU citizens, supporting demands for a fair, green and healthy CAP reform.
Last weekend, people across Europe - at 60 events across 19 countries – gathered for picnics, cooking workshops, farm visits, protest marches and much more. United by a shared drive to change our food system to make local, sustainable food affordable and available for all, and support the small-scale sustainable farmers that feed us, the actions came as part of the #GoodFoodGoodFarming days of action. Here are some of the highlights from what Friends of the Earth groups got up to...
On October 27-28, farmers, consumers, activists and citizens from across Europe will join forces to call for a fundamental change in our food and farming, demanding agricultural policies that promote a transition towards a better and sustainable society, with quality food for all. On these days, peaceful demonstrations, protest picnics, and other initiatives will take place in 35 European cities, towns and villages.
Every year, big factory farms in the EU rear more animals for meat than there are humans alive on Earth. More than eight billion animals is a huge number of mouths to feed – and much of the food that ends up doing this job is soy, largely imported from Latin America, and increasingly also from the USA.
Today – on a global day of action to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and tackle climate change – a coalition of civil society organisations has launched a manifesto with core demands for the political leadership of the EU and the candidates in the 2019 European Elections.
As the dust starts to settle after new EU farming rules were proposed, Adrian Bebb, food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, looks ahead at their likely impact