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Issue n°5 October 2014


GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY

  • Any hope for sustainable and safe food policy with new proposed EU commissioner?
  • EP Hearings and EU Food agenda: mixed feelings about the 3 Commissioners involved
  • Join the pledge for the Publication of the Communication on 'Building a Sustainable European Food System'

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

  • Climate Smart Agriculture is actually STUPID!
  • Report on Empowering Rural Stakeholders in the Western Balkans: this is about Europe, this is about us!
  • World Food Day: Why just one day?

JOIN THE FOOD REVOLUTION: THE STORY OF THE MONTH

  • Every month food actors who joined the 'Join the Food Revolution' network share their story, showing the way to take back control over your plate –

WHAT'S ON THE PLATE?

  • Upcoming Events

GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY

Any hope for sustainable and safe food policy with new proposed EU commissioner?

Jean Claude Juncker proposed Vytenis Andriukatis as commissioner for Health and Food safety. Despite some promising elements in Andriukaitis' mission letter we may doubt about any positive influence of this portfolio on our health, nor food safety. The Greens/EFA Group has concerns with the brief he has been given, which would view this crucial portfolio for the European public from a narrow economic and commercial perspective. The Greens/EFA Group took the opportunity of the hearing of the proposed commissioner to exchange views on his assignment.

EP Hearings and EU Food agenda: mixed feelings about the 3 Commissioners involved

Members of the European Parliament last week held hearings with the three Commissioners-designate with food-related portfolios. The work of Mr Vella (ENVI/PECH), Mr Andriukaitis (Food Safety and Health) and Mr Hogan (Agriculture), will have an impact on what ends up on European citizens’ plates. But, it is hard to believe these three profiles will easily carry concrete perspectives towards more coherent and fair EU food systems.

Join the pledge for the Publication of the Communication on 'Building a Sustainable European Food System'

In April 2013, the European Commission announced that the Communication entitled "Building a Sustainable European Food System" would be published by the end of 2013 or early 2014. But so far no text has been published. This Communication is a wake-up call to the European Union to address food waste, but it also look at the whole food system, and the many aspects of sustainable food, that could guide the EU to move forward a coherent European Food Policy and secure the sustainable production and consumption of food in Europe in the coming years. MEPs involved in this initiative have recently sent a common letter urging the European Commission not to delay the publication of the communication any further. But, as citizens, can help the publication of the Communication on Sustainable Food come true! Join the Food Revolution! Sign up to the Charter and register online to share your actions in favour of reform and push for food policy to become genuinely sustainable.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

'Climate Smart agriculture' is actually STUPID!

Part of an approach initiated and promoted by the FAO, the concept of 'Climate Smart Agriculture' (CSA) was born in 2010 at the time of the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food security and Climate Change. A framework document details the foundations of this world alliance and the expected results of this process. Last 23 September, at the Global Climate Summit, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon officially launched the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture including more than 20 governments and 30 organisations and corporations, ranging from the pesticide to the agri-food sectors. In fact, the trendy wording of 'Climate Smart agriculture' refers to developing the technical, policy and economic conditions to achieve food security - rather than food sovereignty - actually boosted by the corporations' motto to 'Feed the world' by 2050. Supporters of the CSA claim that carbon capture and storage techniques could finance climate resilience, food security and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, they do not question the specificities of industrial agriculture such as the use of synthetic fertilisers, GMOs or high-yielding seed varieties, which cause soil erosion and put biodiversity and farmers' rights at risk. Among the success stories on CSA, there is no mention of any of the genuine and effective methods for food production and reduction of greenhouse gases defended by agro-ecological approaches. As claimed in the letter signed by 100 civil society organisations rejecting the newly-announced Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture 'The proposed Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture seems to be yet another strategy by powerful players to prop up industrial agriculture, which undermines the basic human right to food. It is nothing new, nothing innovative, and not what we need'. Climate Smart Agriculture is actually stupid!

Report on Empowering Rural Stakeholders in the Western Balkans: this is about Europe, this is about us!

The formal launch of the report published by DG AGRI of the EU Commission on "Empowering Rural Stakeholders in the Western Balkans" was well attended on 6 October at the European Parliament. The main initiators of this project are the "Standing Working Group for Regional Development in South Eastern Europe', which represents the ministries for agriculture and development of that region and the PREPARE Partnership for Rural Europe. This report is the result of six travelling workshops through countries of the Western Balkans which are active or potential candidates to join the EU. Those are countries with which the EU has common borders and which might become part of it today. The publication of this report should be the beginning of a process of empowerment of rural stakeholders, and strengthening of the partnership between them and governments. As one of the speakers said on the day of the launch of the report: "We are not a burden for you, we are Europeans". This project is indeed a challenge of building trust, as the most vital basis for cooperation and good governance and an example of good practice to apply further in the framework of the EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy.

World Food Day: Why Just one Day?

Food is part of our culture. World Food Day is a great opportunity to recognise this and support the farmers who are it's backbone. But why just one day? Check out our World Food Day video and find out how you can Join the Food Revolution to support fair and sustainable food systems and mark World Food Day every day!

JOIN THE FOOD REVOLUTION: THE STORY OF THE MONTH

The world wise cuisine of Miss Saigon, has found its place in Lisbon, Portugal. The idea of its name blossomed from the passion between the East and the West, inspired by Puccini's work. This tasty venue spreads vegetarianism and gathers at the same table all the nations in a multicultural spirit. Miss Saigon's menu pays constant concern over food waste reduction and fair trade and locally-grown food from organic origin and GM free. Get to know more about Miss Saigon and Join the Food Revolution yourself!

WHAT'S ON THE PLATE?

23-27/10: Slow Food Salone del Gusto, Torino, Italy. 22/10 BirdlLife and European Environmental Bureau breakfast meeting 'Will the EU finally be able to make agriculture green?', Strasbourg, France. 26-27 Oct: Interparliamentary Committee-Meeting on Agriculture, Industrial Development and SMEs (Rome/Italy).

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