In a major show of strength, 33,000 people from across Europe – including hundreds of farmers and 160 tractors –protested at the weekend in Berlin, demanding a radical reform of the current food and farming system and an end to industrial agriculture.
The demonstration was organised by more than 100 organisations representing peasant farmers, the environment, animal welfare, consumers and development issues, as political negotiations start on the future agriculture policy for the EU, and after the recent failure of governments to ban the weedkiller glyphosate. The protest took also place during the annual International Green Week – one of Europe's biggest agriculture trade fairs, drawing 70 agricultural ministers from across the world.
Action is urgently needed, with small, sustainable local farms under threat like never before. In the past 12 years a third of all farms have disappeared in Germany alone.
Adrian Bebb, food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, who joined the march in Berlin said: "Public support for better food and farming continues to grow. Farmers and consumers from all over Europe have made it clear that they are fed up with current policies that benefit huge food and agriculture corporations, at the expense of the environment, peasant farming and public safety. Policymakers at European and national level need to listen, and use the upcoming reform of the EU's common agricultural policy to build a better food system for the future."