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Good Food March heads for Brussels as global food crisis deepens

05 September 2012
by foeeurope -- last modified 05 September 2012

Cyclists arrive in Strasbourg today for the start of the final leg of the Good Food March's journey to Brussels to call for a radical change of direction in European food and farming policy.


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The international riders are heading to what is hoped will be the biggest ever gathering of EU citizens calling for a major reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The journey to Brussels for the finale on September 19 comes as the World Bank, amongst others, issues serious warnings that the growing food crisis will hit the world's poorest.

The future of EU farming policy for the next seven years is currently being debated by decision-makers in Brussels, including, for the first time, the European Parliament. Among other things, the Good Food March is calling for fairer and greener farming, an end to food speculation, and support to cultivate local protein feed crops, rather than importing soy to feed Europe's farm animals.

The Good Food March set out from Austria in August, and was joined on route by cyclists from Germany. Other groups are also making their way to Brussels from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. It is giving thousands of farmers, citizens and young people a way to express their demands for food and farming policy in the EU.

Stanka Becheva, food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe: "Farming is in a crisis. Farmers and biodiversity are disappearing, corporations are increasing their control, and global food prices are rocketing. The Good Food March is bringing together thousands of people across Europe calling for a real reform of farming that takes account of the needs of citizens and farmers. We want fair conditions for farmers, a greener countryside and an end to policies that are harming poor people in developing countries."

Brussels will host the final gathering, with a protest brunch in front of the European Parliament, the presentation of hundreds of photos of people demanding a change to farming policy, as well as a civil society conference inside Parliament.

Alongside bike tours and national events, a photo campaign has made it possible for anyone to send a message about the CAP reform. All the photos received will be presented to decision makers in an album on the morning of the September 19.

The Good Food March is the initiative of ARC2020, European Coordination Via Campesina, European Milk Board, Friends of the Earth Europe, IFOAM EU Group, Meine Landwirtschaft, PAC2013 and Slow Food. In total more than 80 organisations from 15 countries are involved.

Friends of the Earth Europe is the largest grassroots environmental network in Europe, uniting 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups.

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