Call for a European meeting on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and other distribution systems for #Food #Sovereignty

Do you know about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? Are you involved in a CSA project, a Food Cooperative, a GAS (Italian solidarity purchasing group), an AMAP (the French name for CSA projects), a GASAP (the Brussels’ equivalent of AMAP), a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) or any other food distribution system working to achieve Food Sovereignty? Are you interested in networking and exchanging on this topic at the European level?

Throughout Europe people from different cultures and backgrounds are already working towards the shared goal of redefining the way our society organises the production, processing and distribution of food, and are getting together to achieve Food Sovereignty in their local communities.

Reclaim the fields is calling for a meeting to identify a shared vision for food distribution systems committed to Food Sovereignty in Europe, define future thematic focuses and develop an organizational structure for a new European platform. Our aim is to create a decentralized platform where experience-sharing between food distribution projects can be achieved, independent from any central body or institution.

This meeting is part of the follow-up process to the Nyeleni-Europe Forum that took place in Krems last August. It will focus on the Axis 2 of the Action Plan: “Changing how Food is distributed“.

Topics we would like to address :

  • What is our common ground? Reclaim the fields wants to define a shared vision and set characteristics for CSAs and other distribution systems for food sovereignty.
  • How to decentralise the experiences, initiatives and share solutions? How to pool our resources efficiently?
  • How to build alliances to follow up on Axis 2 of the Nyeleni-Europe Action Plan?
  • What organizational and operating means and methods will best enable us to work together?
Reclaim the fields is happy to invite anyone who is interested in promoting deeper relations between small-scale producers and consumers in local food webs, short supply chains, and diversified local farmers’ markets based on solidarity and fair prices aimed at rebuilding and redefining our food systems to this working session on October, 10th- 12th, in Milan. This is the way to stop the monopoly of agribusiness and their dictatorship to farmers and consumers alike, and change the homogenisation of the global food systems that are destroying local small-scale producers and distribution systems and consumers interests! It is the way to build a sustainable local food system and solidarity economy instead.

Reclaim the fields isaiming to have a balanced representation from the different European regions and include as many actors as possible to jointly build our common struggle for Food Sovereignty as a reflection of its true European diversity.

Due to limited funding Reclaim the fields cannot provide travel reimbursement for everybody but Reclaim the fields will try to cover accommodation and food during the meeting. At the meeting we will announce a suggested financial contribution per day to cover the expenses for food. Reclaim the fields will organize interpretation according to the needs of registered participants. Please register before the 30th of June if you require interpetation support.

Registration is open until September, 1st, 2012.

Promoting the tastes of Europe

The European Commission has today adopted a Communication entitled ‘Promotion measures and information provision for agricultural products: a reinforced value‑added strategy for promoting the tastes of Europe’. The Communication is the second stage of the promotion policy reform process launched in July 2011, which aims to make the agriculture and agri‑food sector more dynamic and more competitive and to promote sustainable, intelligent and inclusive growth.

On this occasion Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: ‘The European Union has a good hand to play to make its economy more dynamic and boost growth and jobs by further optimising the benefits of its agricultural and agri‑food products, both on the European market and world markets. Exports in this sector already represent more than €100 billion. In an increasingly open world, the success of European agriculture also depends on its capacity to strengthen and develop its position. This entails new ambition for our promotion policy and putting in place a real Community strategy for optimising the use of our products.’

This new ambition is expressed in the key objectives set for the future promotion policy, centred around four themes:

  •     real European added value;
  •     more attractive programmes with a bigger impact;
  •     simpler and more effective management;
  •     new synergies between the different promotion instruments.
This Communication reflects the in‑depth consideration launched in July 2011 by the adoption of a Green Paper about the policy of information and promotion for agricultural products which was a leading initiative to strengthen the competitiveness of EU agriculture and which generated a broad public debate, as well as the information in the report on the external evaluation carried out in 2011 on the present promotion policy.

This document opens the debate on the content of the future promotion policy at interinstitutional level. Once these discussions have been concluded, the Commission will present legislative proposals before the end of the year.

Source and more info: European Union