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Food Sovereignty in Europe

8 March 2012

Representatives from 30 European countries gathered in Brussels 5-7 March 2012 to promote Food Sovereignty towards the European Institutions. The intensive meeting among organisations on how to implement concrete actions, build networks and communicate information at local, national, regional and European level has been followed by a conference about CAP and Food Sovereignty at the Committee of the Regions.

By a theatrical scene showing the corporate control of the food system, the participants underlined the capacities of people and farmers to resist and transform the food and farmers situation in the future.

This meeting in Brussels forms part of a broad movement throughout Europe which is following up from the Nyeleni Europe Forum and continuing to work together to bring about Food Sovereignty in Europe.

“The model of production dominating European food systems is controlled by corporate interests and is based on concentrated power, monocultures, patented seeds and livestock breeds” Nyeleni Europe 2011 -Synthesis Report and Action Plan

Food Sovereignty focuses on food for people, values food providers, localises food systems, builds knowledge and skills, prioritizes local control, and works with nature”

International forum on Food Sovereignty stated in 2007

Delegates at the Nyeleni Europe Forum committed to taking the European food system into their own hands by:

• Working towards an ecologically sustainable and socially just model of food production and consumption based on non-industrial smallholder farming, processing and alternative distribution

• Decentralizing the food distribution system and shortening the chain between producers and consumers

• Improving working and social conditions, particularly in the field of food and agriculture

• Democratizing decision-making on the use of the Commons and heritage (land, water, air, traditional knowledge, seeds and livestock)

• Ensuring that public policies at all levels guarantee the vitality of rural areas, fair prices for food producers and safe, GMO-free food for all.

From the meeting debates, Andrea Ferrante , from the farmer’s organization AIAB in Italy, underlined the importance to work with with consumers to find ways around the supermarket-corporate system which is trying to prevent from providing consumers with good quality, local and healthy food. Jocelyn Parot , a member of the European network URGENCI, which brings many community supported agriculture initiatives together highlighted that more than 20% of small scale farms have disappeared since 2007 in Europe. Genevieve Savigny , member of of the Coordination Committee of ECVC, by reminding the fact that, on the same day, DG Agri was conducting a conference on Innovation and Research on Agriculture, said that there is very little independent research, as much of this work is linked to the big companies lie Suez and Veolia.

More information is available on https://nyeleni-eca.net/, and the documentary of the forum here http://vimeo.com/37734507.

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