Food sovereignty meeting 15th Nov, B’ham council house

Just wanted to alert people to what looks to be a very interesting meeting tomorrow evening at the Council House:

The meeting is entitled “Feed the world without destroying the planet!” with Maria Neri from Mindanao in the Phillippines as the main speaker. She is a longstanding activist and ecosocialist who will share her powerful experiences in the struggle for land reform and ecologically sustainable food production.

The meeting is jointly sponsored by Socialist Resistance and the Green Left; a very difficult-to-copy flier is uploaded here: food sovereignty event flyer.

Karen

New video for sustainable CAP reform and food sovereignty

LWM are a signatory to the European Food Declaration which has been promoted to guide CAP reform towards social justice and sustainability over the last year or so.

The ongoing campaign is hosted at www.nyelenieurope.net, home of the European food sovereignty forum,

They have produced a three minute video linked from their page on CAP reform to let people know what is at stake. Please do go to the site and watch it.

The campaign reports:

A lot has happened since the start of the European Food Declaration:
-  we submitted our suggestions for a better CAP in July 2010 and
- a paper called ‘The missing option’ last January;  we asked you to sign that as well in a first newsletter in January.
- in August we had a great event in Austria: the Nyeleni Forum on Food Sovereignty.
400 People from 34 European countries attended. See the website for reports, also for the Declaration that was agreed on and published on the last day, 21 August.

Now Commissioner Ciolos has presented his proposals for CAP legislation, on 12 October.

Their press release is copied below.

Karen Leach

Brussels, 12 October 2011

CAP 2104-2020:

European Commission proposals fail to tackle food speculation and environmental crisis.

sustainable family farming would continue to disappear

 

Brussels, October 12, 2011 – The European Commission announced proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) today. Essential steps towards tackling rising food speculation are missing, and the proposed policy will fail to bring substantial benefits to sustainable family farmers, citizens and the environment, according to the ‘European Movement for Food Sovereignty and Another CAP’ (Foodsovcap).

Instead of introducing clear market measures that stabilise farm prises at a fair level, the Commission suggests spending money on insurance schemes and on the so called ‘crisis and globalisation funds’which are said to compensate farmers for their losses in times of environmental or food crises, and for the adverse results of the liberalisation of the markets. These measures will do nothing to prevent rising prices for resources but low incomes for farmers, nor will they ensure better pay or working conditions for food workers, claim the Foodsovcap movement. The proposals will not counter the flourishing speculation on agricultural markets resulting in higher food prices for people in Europe.

Irmi Salzer, from European coordination Via Campesina said, “Europe is facing big environmental and farm crises and it is disappointing that the Commission has missed this golden opportunity to take a first step to ensure that European farmers will no longer lose out to agro-industry, supermarkets, speculators and the export companies. It seems that a trade- fixated food industry will still be able to continue making a lot of money, while farmers in Europe disappear, raw materials from the South are shipped to us at a high cost for the environment, and the people, and European rural areas abandon”

 

Stanka Becheva, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe continued: “Agriculture in Europe is in a mess – with farmers and wildlife disappearing at an unprecedented rate. We need a root and branch reform of European farming that benefits people and the environment. We need strict and bold measures addressing the challenges we face that also protect our soil, water, seeds and biodiversity for future generations. And today’s proposals don’t look any good.”

Alexandra Strickner from the European Attac Network emphasized: “Instead of acknowledging the failure of unregulated agricultural markets and consequently introducing measures such as the management of production, public food stocks and new mechanisms to allow the negotiation of fair prices for farmers, food workers and consumers on the one hand and less profits for the food industry, super markets and financial speculators on the other hand, the Commission continues to propose ‘business as usual’ policies.”

The Foodsovcap movement proposed a policy option that promotes a Common Food and Agriculture Policy in Europe that puts the interest of farmers, food workers, consumers and the environment in Europe and globally at its heart [1]. The future CAP must move European agriculture towards agro-ecologicalmethods of production. Such a CAP reform must include:

  • public supply management to balance supply and demand of agricultural products and avoid structural surpluses. This will prevent prices from fluctuating excessively. Various instruments adapted to the different productions have to be developed;
  • management of agricultural imports to avoid imports at prices below the European average cost of production. This should be linked to the banning of all forms of market dumping in other countries;
  • prioritizing the maintaince of sustainable family farming all over Europe, which involves numerous farmers producing food and caring for the countryside;
  • Setting a cap on direct payments as well as defining strict environmental and social criteria – only farmers respecting those criteria should be eligible for direct payments;
  • transparency along the food chain so that citizens know how their food is produced, where it comes from, what it contains and what is included in the price paid by consumers;
  • an end to the negotiation of ‘free-trade’ agreements between the EU and third countries (Mercosur, Canada, Ukraine,…) which would benefit companies and not citizens.

***

[1] The MISSING option for the Common Agricultural Policy post 2013: http://www.europeanfooddeclaration.org/documents

Proposal for a New European Agriculture and Food policy that meets the challenges of this century:

http://www.europeanfooddeclaration.org/documents

We are proud to present a short video (3 minutes only) that offers an analysis of what is wrong and some suggestions for alternatives. It can be found from October 12 on www.nyelenieurope.net

We also recommend the short film on food speculation which explains the basic mechanism of excessive speculation and why regulation is needed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpM9XxJ-vo4

***

For more information, please contact:

Irmi Salzer, European Coordination Via Campesina

E-Mail: irmi.salzer@gmx.at

Stanka Becheva, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe
Tel: +32 (0) 2893 1025, stanka.becheva@foeeurope.org

Alexandra Strickner, European ATTAC Network

E-Mail: alexandra.strickner@attac.at

Gert Engelen, advocacy officer Vredeseilanden

Tel.: 0032 497 38 13 77, Gert.Engelen@vredeseilanden.be

Greet Goverde, secretary of Platform Aarde Boer Consument, the Netherlands

Tel.: 0031 24 3443678, h.goverde@chello.nl