Civil society organizations invite to the European Food Sovereignty Week of Action between the 10th and the 16th of October

Press Release

Brussels, October 11, 2011 - On the occasion of the World Food Day, October 16th, European civil society organizations and movements unite their voices to demand European and global food sovereignty. Europe-wide week of actions with colourful initiatives around the topics agriculture and food will be held in few European countries emphasising the need of a World Food Sovereignty Day.

This call comes two months after the first European Food Sovereignty Forum “Nyeleni Europe” which took place in Krems, Austria where more than 400 delegates from all over Europe gathered to discuss and steer action to achieve food sovereignty.

As food sovereignty implies and covers a wide range of aspects (the way we produce and consume food, including what kind of food we eat, rights of workers and citizens, the impacts of food production on the environment, alternative food distribution systems, participatory research systems, sovereign and democratic policies) initiatives promoted for the week of action mobilize around different topics, such as:

  • land tenure rights and land grabbing ahead of the upcoming Committee on World Food Security (CFS) meetings in Rome,
  • the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform proposals, which are presented on October 12th by the Commission,
  • the call for democracy raised by the indignados movement on October 15th, etc.

Initiatives and organisations which struggle for Food Sovereignty engage in a diverse range of actions throughout Europe. In Bulgaria, Romania and France, there will be public meetings on how to implement Food Sovereignty via alternative food distribution models. In Rome, civil society organisations will demonstrate in front of the FAO headquarters, denouncing land grabbing and corporate investment. In Brussels and Vienna, street actions will take place, the latter focusing on the unfair conditions imposed on small farmers in the name of free trade.

In Switzerland and the UK, public events will promote the Food Sovereignty framework as an alternative to corporate driven agriculture and supermarkets.

All these mobilisations express the conviction that Food Sovereignty is not only a step forward towards a change in our food and agricultural systems, but that it is also a first step towards a broader change in our societies. From this year on, the World Food Sovereignty Day will represent a milestone for European movements and will offer additional opportunities for strengthening actions and cooperative proposals.

The detailed list of events is available on the Nyeleni Europe web site: http://nyeleni2011.net/index.php?lang=en

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For more information please contact:

  • Luca Colombo, Italian Food Sovereignty Committee,  tel : 0039 3483988618 (IT; EN)
  • Stanka Becheva, FoEE, tel: 0032 2 8931025 (BG; EN)
  • Ludwig Rumetshofer, ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria, tel.0043-1-8929400 (DE; EN)
  • Jocelyn Parot, Urgenci International, tel:  +33(0)687044930 (FR ; EN)
  • Anne Gueye, Uniterre, tel: 0041 216017467 (FR; EN)
  • Patrick Mulvany , Clara, tel : +44 7949 575711 (EN)

The Steering Committee Members of the Nyeleni Europe Forum for Food Sovereignty

Additional information