We cannot continue to feed ourselves as we do today. The dominant industrial practices in both farming and fishing are over-exploiting the world's soil and seas. Hunger for profit is being put before sustainable practice, the planet, and people.
Young Friends of the Earth Europe unites and inspires youth from across Europe to take positive action and to work together to create sustainable solutions for the future of farming. We are building a strong youth movement created by young people, and run by young people.
We have a vision of a future where farmers get a better deal, consumers get healthier food, animal rights are respected and natural resources are no longer exploited – a future where people and planet are put before profit, and where healthier, sustainable food is a right, not a luxury.
Current industrial farming practices have devastating impacts on people's livelihoods and biodiversity. They overuse natural resources, jeopardise ecosystem resilience, lead to deforestation, oil dependency, and inflict animal rights abuses. The ecosystems that support life on this planet and provide us with food are becoming unstable – the entire precious system could collapse.
Despite this, the European Union unashamedly favours intensive farming practices over smaller, more sustainable practices. The European Union pumps disproportionately large amounts of money into a disproportionately tiny number of farms. This means that food produced on large-scale farms with destructive methods is cheaper and dominates the markets – resulting in appalling animal welfare standards, driving deforestation to produce animal feed, and locking in unsustainable practice.
Young Friends of the Earth Europe is pushing for a sustainable and responsible market, which subsidises smaller farmers – a market for high quality healthy food, produced through sustainable practice and distributed and produced locally, by skilled workers.
Young Friends of the Earth Europe put awareness at the heart of work on food and farming. Consumers rarely understand what is put on the shelves in front of them – whether a product is in season, what has gone into producing it, and where it comes from. They are rapidly losing touch with traditional farming practices, and with the land and sea they are dependent upon.
We work to raise awareness, and promote locally grown, seasonal, sustainable products. Conscious, informed and involved consumers can make huge differences to our food and farming system. They have the power to influence markets, what appears on the shelves in their local shop, and ultimately the entire food and farming system.
Our recent campaigns and activities include:
• The reCAP campaign, which strives to reconcile human agricultural demands with sustainable and environmentally sound practices of supply.