Dear Nyéléni Europe Friends, it is now two years since we held the first European Forum for Food Sovereignty in Krems, Austria between 16-21. August 2011. As a first step, the Forum was a catalyzer to reinforce our collective aims; it provided us a dynamic space constructed for change the way society today organizes around food and agriculture.
"...Today, we are facing a major crisis in our history, which is systemic. Food, labour, energy, economic, climate, ecological, ethical, social, political and institutional systems are collapsing in many parts of the world. The growing energy crisis in a context of fossil fuel depletion is being addressed with false solutions ranging from agrofuels to nuclear energy which are among the greatest threats to life on earth.
The dramatic environmental, economic and social crises that we are currently observing have surprisingly not led to a complete change in the direction taken by most national and international elites. On the contrary, we are seeing an increased offensive by economic super-powers to grab all the resources still available to make a profit. Land has become a valuable commodity entering speculative trade, followed by water, seeds etc. This hyper-commercialisation of the commons leads to a massive dispossession of the people who are simply living on the land. Women and men farmers are particularly affected. At the same time, resistance is blooming everywhere. All over the world, urban and rural communities hit by the same wave of privatisation and destruction of life are resisting against transnational companies which impose the rule of profit over the people's needs and rights.
The international farmers’ movement La Via Campesina is mobilizing this year by continuing to oppose the current international offensive by some States and large corporations to grab land from farmers, women and men, who have been cultivating it for centuries. We are also opposing the commercialization of nature and the Commons, that leads to a massive dispossession of people who are simply living on the land. Farmers, be they men or women are particularly affected.
The report, involving 25 authors from 11 countries, reveals the hidden scandal of how a few big private business entities have gained control of ever-greater areas of European land. It exposes how these land elites have been actively supported by a huge injection of public funds – at a time when all other public funding is being subjected to massive cuts. While some of these processes – in particular ever-increasing land concentration -- are not new, they have accelerated in recent decades in particular in Eastern Europe. They have also paved the way for a new sector of foreign and domestic actors to emerge on the European stage, many tied into increasingly global commodity chains, and all looking to profit from the increasingly speculative commodity of land.
We are happy to release the first Nyéléni Europe Newsletter! We hope it will be a participative and useful tool for communication and for sharing initiates from all around Europe. This Newsletter will aim to provide an intensive exchange of information in order to continue the fight for realising Food Sovereignty in Europe.
This was already the third time that consumers, farmers, activists, beekeepers and many other actors being involved in agricultural- and food issues come together with the slogan "We are fed up! Good food. Good farming. Now!”. The demonstrators – also the 70 tractors, and the vehicles of beekepers – moved from the Berlin Central Station throughout the government district to the Federal Chancellery. The demonstration took place just days before the EU Parliament’s Agriculture Committee holds their final vote on CAP reform, and before the final stages of negotiations in Brussels begin.
Annual Report of activities of Nyeleni Europe Movement for Food Sovereignty in 2012. Thank you for all your energy, commitment and work in realizing Food Sovereignty in Europe! We hope to grow together and accomplish our common goals for a better future for food and farming. Below are the highlights of the year, from around Europe, that we are proud to present: conferences, meetings, actions, evaluations of the past and planning for the future.
This year, once more, following the decision taken by hundreds of organisations during the Nyeleni Europe Forum of August 2011, the Nyeleni Europe Committee calls to turn symbolically the "World Food Day" - celebrated all around the world on 16th October - into the "World Food Sovereignty Day". Why?
In frame of the European Social Forum, Firenze 10+10, held in Firenze, Italy on 8-11. November 2012, the Nyeleni Europe Movement for Food Sovereignty, the European Coordination La Via Campesina, Manitese, A.I.A.B and Cospe organised the first follow up meeting for the Axis 4 - Reclaiming the Right to our Commons.