Contribution to the European Food Declaration from the European network

‘Rural Education and Food Sovereignty’

Brussels, 15.02.2011


We are a network of NGOs, farmers and educational organizations, based in Europe and in Southern Countries1, with the common goal of mobilizing the active, coherent and effective contribution of the European civil society in the fight against hunger and poverty through participatory education and sustainable rural development.

We met in Brussels on February 15th, with the aim of capitalizing the work we did together during the last three years and strengthening the existing networking at the EU level on Rural Education as a major tool in promoting Food Sovereignty, in the framework of the European Food Sovereignty process, with a special focus on Education and raising awareness.

We recognize ourselves in the Food Sovereignty model and we are daily committed in promoting the awareness of its principles and the adoption of responsible practices. For this reason, we are involved in the process of diffusion and scaling-up of the European Food Declaration to which we want to provide our specific contribution.

We believe that global learning about food sovereignty is crucial, since it encourages critical thinking about social, cultural, economic, political and environmental issues from a variety of perspectives, leading to a range of solutions and building awareness of positive change – both how it occurs and how individuals can contribute to it.

Through our networking at all levels, we are available to involve the following relevant stakeholders in signing the European Food Declaration and promoting its contents and goals.

At international level:

Via Campesina, International Planning Committee for FS (IPC), IFOAM (INOFO, ENOFO), Caritas Internationalis, PAFFO – Panafrican Farmers Forum, ROPPA – West African Farmers Organizations Network.

At national level:

Ecuador: Ministerio de Agricultura, Ministerio de Ambiente, Gobiernos municipales, NGOs and CSOs networks, Caritas Ecuador, Ayuda en acciòn, Intermon Ecuador, Sistema de la Investigación de la Problemática Agraria del Ecuador (SIPAE), Conferencia de Soberania Alimentaria

Zanzibar: Ministry of agriculture, Network of educational organizations, Ecological association of organic farmers

Italy: Italian FS platform, Fair Economy Districts, Local Authorities, universities

Wales: : Farmers Unions, Association of Organic Farmers, Rural Regeneration Unit – Food Coops Wales, Organic Centre Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology, Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Welsh Assembly Government, RCMA Farmers’ Markets Network, BRASS Centre for Business Relationships

Hungary: Organic farmers network, Parliament members, NGOs networks, National FS platform

Senegal: CNCR – Conseil National de Concertation et de Coopération des Ruraux, National government, National NGOs

To maximise the effectiveness of our work, we are able to share and provide specific skills, tools and methodologies for education (formal/informal/non-formal) and raising awareness in order to promote the Food Sovereignty model in Europe, such as: participatory educational tools for rural communities, websites, mailing lists, exchanges of practices, training of trainers, Eu radio campaign, International conferences, an international march, learning by doing methodology, marketing, tutoring and mentoring for social entrepreneurship, consumer led Community Food Co-ops, fairs and local farmers markets, informational brochures, action researches and case studies, field visits, arts based and cultural events.

On this basis, we propose to add a specific paragraph in the European Food Delaration, recognizing the key role of education and raising awareness in promoting FS, in particular because it:

  • rehabilitates and promotes rural identities, knowledge and cultures

  • enhances the adoption of new and more responsible, healthy, ecological and socially fair consumption practices

  • encourages the building and sharing of knowledge on FS

  • allows the exchange of practices

  • raises awareness among farmers and consumers on the importance of FS

  • promotes the understanding of the importance of consuming local products produced in a sustainable way

  • working with key target groups such as students, teachers and local communities, acts as a multiplier of the message toward the rest of the population

  • sustains peoples’ freedom to make informed choices

  • builds capacities for the participation and the involvement in policy making processes related to food and agriculture

  • contributes to the enlargement of the critical mass on FS issues

  • contributes to the empowerment of grassroot organizations and groups of people committed in overcoming food insecurity at local level.

 

Signers

Italy: FOCSIV, ACRA, AIAB, Associazione Villa Buri onlus, CAST, CELIM Bergamo, ICEI, Mani Tese

Wales (UK): Workers Educational Association (WEA), Sazani Associates (Wales, UK), Rural Regeneration Unit (RRU) Community Food Co-ops

Estonia: Estonian Organic Farming Foundation

Hungary: The Gaia Foundation:

Slovakia: Nadàcia Skola dokorán

Ecuador: Conferencia Episcopal Ecuador

Perù: Confederacion Campesina Perú

Senegal: Fédération des Organisations non Gouvernementales – Action Paysanne

Tanzania: National Teachers Resource Centre, Labayka Development Fund

Italy, Wales (UK), Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Ecuador, Perù, Tanzania, Senegal