Impression of the Dutch delegation at the Nyéléni Europe Forum 2016 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Over 500 people from all over Europe gathered there at the end of October for five days to lay the groundwork to take back, relocalise our food systems and multiply food sovereignty platforms across the continent.
Academics and activists come together to discuss who, how and with what social, economic and ecological implications we will feed the world. Together we will deepen our shared analysis, feed our curiosity, and work towards a shared vision of just and sustainable food systems.
In both TTIP and CETA food, agriculture, animal husbandry and horticulture play a major role and the prospects for European farmers and consumers are not good. TTIP negotiators are discussing abolishing or lowering import tariffs for agricultural products and the mutual recognition of each others’ standards relating to environment, animal welfare, food safety and labour rights is on the agenda.
We welcome you to participate in the training weekend ‘Food Sovereignty in Practice’, an inspiring exchange of alternatives to our current food system. It will take place on the organic farm Buitenverwachting near Leiden and is meant for both students, practitioners and (prospective) farmers who are interested in movement building and deepening their knowledge of food sovereignty, agroecology, urban food systems and the human right to food.
In February 2016 the second Voedsel Anders conference brought people together to build new connections and relationships within the food movement in the Netherlands, Belgium, and around the world, and to begin working towards a shared agenda and strategy for the movement. Over a thousand participants, some returning and some attending for the first time, gathered in Wageningen to discuss food system problems and solutions, plant the seeds of new ideas, build new connections, and grow the movement.
Farmers, fishermen, citizens, scientists and grassroots organisations will converge again to take further steps towards contemporary, sustainable and fair food production and consumption, with new relationships between food producers and (urban) citizens.
A packed 2 days combining plenary sessions with parallel sessions in between, with a good balance between cutting-edge academic inputs and practitioner/activist interventions around the issues of resources, land, food sovereignty, environment, energy climate change and much more.
Governments are facing an existential crisis with respect to food security. What is their role in ensuring local food security and supporting domestic agricultural sectors, and particularly small- scale farmers, while the world is increasingly looking to market-based solutions to meet global food security needs?
The convergence of multiple crises – food, energy, environmental, climate change and finance – in combination with the rise of important global political economic players has triggered profound agrarian and environmental transformations worldwide. There is a global rush to control natural resources in order to produce food, fuel, and energy for climate change mitigation and adaptation purposes; partly as a result of financialization of agriculture, nature, food systems and farmland. How does one govern such complex and fluid ‘value webs’?
The bioeconomy is promoted as a response to current global social and environmental crises, with its promise of replacing fossil fuels with ‘renewable’ biological resources. How does it play out on the ground? Who wins and who loses? And what are the alternatives?
The RAI principles do not move further in navigating the slippery terrain of defining ‘responsible’ versus ‘irresponsible’ investment - possibly resulting in them doing more harm than good. It is essential to push back against a regressive use of the principles and monitor what other actors are doing in the name of the principles.