Strong IFOAM EU representation at the European action days for Good food Good farming

22 October 2019 Strasbourg, France

On October 22, IFOAM EU demanded good food and good farming at the European days of action in Strasbourg, France. Lena Brisset, Policy Officer on CAP and our one-year ESC volunteers, Berenice, Kaja, Katarina, Molly and Thomas, took to the streets, alongside organic farmers, including members of the French organisation FNAB (Fédération Nationale d’Agriculture Biologique). Together with more than 1,000 others they called for better support for organic farming through both pillars of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Demonstrators carried a giant bee to remind the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that over 20 years, flying insect populations have collapsed by 80%. The demonstration sent a strong signal to the Parliament and the Commission and the Member States that there is a crucial need for a paradigm change in EU’s food and farming policies. Farmers played a key role in the demonstration, leading the protest with four tractors with hopeful consumers and activists. Farmers, beekeepers, civil society organisations and citizens from all over Europe called for an ambitious reform of the CAP with fewer direct payments going to large industrial farms and better remuneration of the public goods delivered by farmers.

The protest marked the peak of the European Days of Action for Good Food Good Farming, an alliance of seven environmental and agricultural organisations. After marching on the streets of Strasbourg, thousands gathered outside the European Parliament to demand urgent action to address the current climate and environmental crises in the ongoing reform of the CAP.

At the end of the colourful and music-filled demonstration, the Good Food Good Farming coalition met with Members of the Parliament to hand-over an open letter, signed by 23 organisations, and thousands of protest postcards sent from all over Europe. 

The day ended with a reception on “Mapping the Present and Future of Farming” co-hosted by MEPs Tilly Metz (Greens) and Maria Noichl (S&D), a good occasion for participants to meet MEPs and discuss the priorities for the future CAP. In the words of Aurélie Catallo, representative from the French plateform “Pour une autre PAC”: “We are facing a climate and social crisis which can only be solved by a CAP Reform.”

© Léna Brisset

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