Largest-ever European food sovereignty gathering kicks off in Romania

The largest-ever European meeting on food sovereignty starts today with 500 people from over 40 countries gathering to discuss how to reclaim our ever-more corporate-controlled food and farming system.

The second European Nyéléni Forum for Food Sovereignty runs from October 26-30, and brings together farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists, gardeners, food and agricultural workers, researchers, activists and many more. FIAN Netherlands co-organised the Dutch delegation of small scale food producers, NGOs and scientists to Romania.

Stephan Backes, representing FIAN European Sections, deeply involved in the organization of Nyéléni Europe Forum, says: “While corporate-controlled agriculture means destructive monocultures, the Nyéléni Europe Forum represents a hugely diverse, positive alternative: people from all walks of life pushing for food sovereignty and the right to food in Europe.”

For her part, Brigitte Reisenberger, FIAN Austria, stresses that the particular focus of the forum is to strengthen Eastern European small scale producers’ rights. “Most peasants in the EU live in Eastern Europe, and face specific threats including land grabs – three small farms disappear every hour in Romania alone. The harsh realities of industrial agriculture are being felt by farmers here, and it is here that the push for food sovereignty and the right to land is gathering momentum” she adds.

Amongst the activities, the forum will include ‘peasants’ market’, film screenings, and site visits to local peasants, which showcase sustainable local farming methods and environmental justice struggles including the highly controversial proposed gold mine at Rosia Montana.

The forum will center around models of food production and consumption, food distribution, the right to natural resources and the commons, and how to improve work and social conditions in food and agricultural systems.

Spokespeople from a variety of professions and backgrounds are available in English, Romanian, French, German.

For media enquiries, contact FIAN European Sections:
Stephan Backes backes(at)fian-europe.org
Brigitte Reisenberger brigitte.reisenberger(at)fian.at
and/or the Nyéléni Europe press team at 0040 749 490996 or communication(at)nyelenieurope.net

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More information on the forum and the Nyéléni movement: www.nyelenieurope.net

Follow Nyéléni Europe on Facebook and Twitter (#nyeleni) for videos, daily updates and high-resolution photos from the forum on Flickr.

See the full agenda of the forum.