Joint letter calling for balanced speaker representation at forthcoming EU Agricultural Outlook Conference
IFOAM Organics Europe, Slow Food, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), and others call for balanced representation in terms of speakers at the forthcoming EU Agricultural Outlook Conference and other high-level conferences relevant to transforming food and farming.
On 17 November, the organisations sent a joint letter to Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Commission’s Directorate General on Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DG AGRI) Director General, Wolfgang Burtscher, DG AGRI’s Head of Unit on Analysis and Outlook, Jean-Marc Trarieux, and DG AGRI’s Head of Unit on Policy Perspectives, Gijs Schiltuis.
The open letter states that if Europe truly wants to transition to fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems, in line with the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy, it should build on lessons learnt and successes of farmers implementing agroecology and organic farming – methods of farming relevant for all farmers wanting to contribute to a transition of our food systems.
However, the signatories of this letter regret that no representative of small and medium sustainable farmers’ organisations is among the speakers in the program available to date.
Too often farmers are depicted as being against high environmental and/or societal ambitions, while large numbers of farmers across Europe work together with nature and in the utmost respect of all farm workers. As such, the farmers represented by the signatories of this open letter have embraced the EU Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy and support ambitious action to make our farming systems more sustainable.
Balanced representation to high-level events such as the EU Agricultural Outlook Conference is crucial as these meetings should represent an important stepping stone in the just and inclusive transition envisaged by the EU Green Deal.