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ARC2020 January Newsletter

Hello and welcome to Welcome 2017 – Let’s Create Deeds Well Done

“The time for action is now. It is never too late to do something, because true happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Dear readers,
2017 offers opportunities for creating something new. We may be disturbed by the rise in sympathy for autocrats, dangerous populism, new nationalism, racism and even terrorism. But consider how Leonard Cohen put it  “There is a crack in everything – That’s how the light gets in.”

If we do indeed let the light in, we may see what is already in waiting – waiting to replace what is wrong in our societies. Look at the diverse beauty of the many local soil, seed and food initiatives in Europe and abroad; the farmer-consumer alliances; the many fair trade projects and the welcoming culture helping refugees and marginalised people.

These are people taking care of people, food and future.  The resilience of our local grassroots is being tested these days, but let’s see – perhaps the tightness of our web may become stronger under pressure. We may even realize that there is indeed a world wide web of grassroots in the making, one that resists and overcomes the fears of globalisation.

For us it is common sense. Democracy, fair and peaceful sharing of common wealth and resources, solidarity between people and countries, loving care for children, nature, the soil – the whole living, biodiverse world –  ARE the very basis of our happiness, our livelihoods and our humane relations.

And yet people are being divided by the creation of anxieties  – to echo 12th Century scholar Averroes (Ibn Rushd) “ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate,  hate leads to violence – this is the equation.”

People fear the other and for the future. Consequently, many now follow those who have built their power on disempowerment, on this fear and mistrust.

Fearful feelings are compounded by so many of the contradictions in our political and economic realities – from unfair commercial and trade relations to extremely unfair access to resources.

It may look as if these dark forces are about to take over power also in our part of the world. But the truth is they have been around everywhere and all the time. They just now appear at our front door and in our back gardens.

Let’s look out of our front door and into our back gardens now. Not to escape, because there is none. But to share what we can grow together. It will continue to be about good food and farming. About our soils and seeds, our biodiversity, animal welfare and access to land.

We will have to make the most of the good local and regional examples we see, matching them with our policy debates, with the future of Europe and with global peace.

The challenge is creating something really, genuinely new. After CAP. Beyond factory farming. Without unfair trade. And towards a peaceful, resilient and humane society. Looking for cracks where the light comes in.”True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done.” With your support we are looking forward to 2017.

Best wishes,

Dr. Oliver Moore, Luise Körner and the ARC2020 Team.
Food Waste
How Did Fighting Food Waste Become Free PR & Labour for Supermarkets?
Food waste is a scandal – in more ways than one. We have somehow allowed a food system to develop that lets supermarkets off the hook, when it is their policies and practices that generate food waste in the first place. Read the full article by Ruth Hegarty here.
AfterCAP
AfterCAP
'We are fed up with agro industry!' Berlin Demonstration
Saturday 21st January sees another 'Wir haben es satt!' demonstration in Berlin. The negative impacts of the corporate control of agriculture - loss of farmers, loss of biodiversity, pollution, hunger, climate change and many more considerations show that agro industry is failing. Together we take to the streets for for healthy food, more rural and ecological farming and fair trade. We want democracy, not corporate power! We want farms instead of agro business! We are fed up!
Land Rush – Sellout of Europe’s Farmland
All across Europe, land speculation and land concentration are an increasing threat to small and medium sized family farms and to people trying to get involved with farming. Soaring land prices make it increasingly difficult for farmers to have access to land. In the meantime, investors are buying up enormous pieces of land, sometimes using legal loopholes. Land is increasingly becoming a globally tradable commodity and an object of financial speculation. Read the full article here.
AfterCAP
AfterCAP
The question is often asked of the Common Agricultural Policy – what is it exactly that the public is paying for? For a policy that continues to absorb 40% of the EU budget, it’s an enduring scandal that no one can provide a satisfactory answer to that question. This contribution is part of our #AfterCAP Debate. Read the full article by Tom Lancaster (RSPB) here.
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