Sustainable Food Trust responds to the Queen’s Speech

The Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) welcomes the inclusion of the Environment and Agriculture Bill in today’s Queen’s Speech. However, the SFT would urge the government to think carefully about how farmers receive government payments in the future, prioritising a harmonised approach to food production and nature conservation.

Agriculture is one of the major causes of global warming and biodiversity loss. The SFT believes a major shift in farm policy is needed to support sustainable food production. When the Basic Payment Scheme ends, the SFT would like to see the money go to supporting a transition to more sustainable food production, not to more green frills round the edges of unsustainable production which is currently the main thrust of the draft legislation.

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Healing the Climate and Food Insecurity at Indigenous Terra Madre

Today saw the inauguration of the third major edition of Indigenous Terra Madre, held in Ainu Mosir, the homeland of the Ainu people on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. With 200 delegates from 27 countries representing countries around the Asia Pacific region and beyond, the event has two main focuses: the resilience of indigenous peoples in the face of the climate crisis, and the necessity of empowering our youth to become the leaders of tomorrow that our communities and our planet need. Delegates representing the Indigenous Media Foundation of NepalDelegates from Iran, China and India support an indigenous interpretation of World Food Day – because without #indigenousrights and #climatejustice there will never be #zerohunger The day closed with a symposium dedicated to the theme of

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The upside of policy: When government listens

As part of our exploration of Brexit and future agricultural policy, we invited Alicia Miller and Nathan Richards to give a personal, farming perspective on the situation in Wales.

Nathan Richards

My husband, Nathan Richards, and I have been farming in Wales for more than ten years now. Troed y Rhiw Organics is a mixed farm with organic horticulture as its focus. The farm is located in the coastal belt of Cardigan Bay, so we benefit from its slightly warmer micro-climate and our crops are often early. Like every farmer, everywhere, we struggle with the weather, which is definitely getting weirder, wilder and more intense. But so far, our business is

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Wales Real Food and Farming Conference

The inaugural Wales Real Food and Farming Conference (WRFFC) will take place on 11th and 12th November 2019 in Aberystwyth, Wales. The event will address the economic and health impacts of stronger rural and urban food and farming communities in the face of environmental and political uncertainty.

The conference aims to look in detail at how a closer network of food producers and community groups can work together, both locally and nationally, to better address public health and environmental concerns.

WRFFC will welcome delegates and speakers from food and farm businesses and directors of civil and private institutions, including the Welsh Government, RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission and the Sustainable Food Trust.

“We need to consider food production in

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A revised future for Welsh agriculture?

As part of our exploration of Brexit and future agricultural policy, our Head of Policy Honor Eldridge takes a look at Wales and what the future might hold post-Brexit.

Last year, the Welsh Government consulted on Brexit and our land: Securing the future of Welsh farming. In the document, they proposed the adoption of a whole-farm approach, which integrates efficient and sustainable food production with practices that maintain and enhance natural and human capital. The SFT supported their broad-strokes objective to design a new agriculture support system that corrects the economic distortions that currently exist within food and farming and reintegrates food systems in harmony with the natural environment. We felt that such an approach could have multiple benefits, including

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Scottish agriculture: A challenging sector with an uncertain future

As part of our exploration of Brexit and future agricultural policy, our policy assistant Robert Barbour, whose family runs a mixed livestock farm in Scotland, gives his perspective on what the future holds for Scottish agricultural policy post-Brexit.

For thousands of years, farming has played a fundamental role in shaping Scotland’s countryside. Today, around three quarters of the country is under some form of agricultural production, and the sector continues to be of huge importance for environmental, social and economic reasons.

Some 85% of Scotland’s agricultural land is designated as ‘Less Favoured Area’, an EU classification which reflects the harsh environmental conditions that constrain productivity across much of the country. Due to poor soils, mountainous terrain and a cold wet

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Northern Ireland agriculture after Brexit: Policy development in the absence of government

As part of our exploration of Brexit and future agricultural policy, we invited Dr Viviane Gravey to write about Northern Ireland. Dr Gravey is a Lecturer in European Politics at Queen’s University Belfast, and co-chair of Brexit & Environment, an academic network investigating how Brexit is changing UK environmental policies and governance.

Agriculture has often been portrayed as an area which is likely to benefit from Brexit – the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy had long been criticised by farmers, politicians and environmentalists, and Brexit is putting agriculture firmly on the UK’s domestic political agenda. But more than three years after the EU Referendum of June 2016, the sunlit uplands of renewed agricultural policy are taking time to materialise. In

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Indigenous Terra Madre 2019: Interview with Indonesian Delegate Imanul Huda

The national Indonesian organization of indigenous peoples, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN), estimates that between 50 and 70 million indigenous peoples live in Indonesia, accounting for up to 25% of the country’s total population. One of the main challenges facing these indigenous populations are access and rights to their lands, as private interests have caused catastrophic damage to the territories and natural resources that indigenous communities depend on. Ahead of Indigenous Terra Madre Asia and Pan-Pacific, running from October 11-14th 2019 in Hokkaido, Japan, we spoke to indigenous delegate Imanul Huda, member of the Kapuas Hulu Slow Food Community in Indonesia. In our interview, Imanul discusses his involvement with Slow Food and his work to protect natural resources and sustainable food sources in the Kapuas

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A Snail for Peace: Our Support and Full Solidarity with the Populations Under Attack in Syria

“The phone lines are down, the resistance has begun…I’ll try to pass you the numbers of those who speak English…”

This is the message we received yesterday from members of our network in Syria, Rojava. As soon as we learned of the danger, the threat of attack, we tried to reach out and help, confronted by a pervasive sense of powerlessness. This latest act of war puts a project at risk, a new model of participatory democracy and applied ecology that belongs to us as humans. The Slow Food headquarters in Kobanî makes us proud, gives us hope, puts us to the test. We worked with the young students and teachers there, to cultivate gardens together – a commitment that might seem insignificant in a

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What’s Going On in Ecuador?

With little international media coverage, few outside the country are aware of recent events in Ecuador. For days now, Ecuador has been shaken by intense street protests and violent repression, with multiple deaths and arrests. We publish here an article from the Slow Food network in the country. Though initially triggered by the announcement of an end to fuel subsidies, there is much more behind all of this, including the rights of indigenous peoples and the access to land. The situation in Ecuador has reached an apex of tension and violence in recent days.

A week ago civil society members began a national strike to protest the adoption by Lenin Moreno’s government of a series of economic austerity measures (the “package” or “paquetazo” in

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Urgency Rattles Diplomatic Normalcy During Climate Week at the UN

On the first day of this year’s Climate Week, held from September 23-29, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres hosted the 2019 Climate Action Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The Summit was an important opportunity for leaders of government, academics, non- profit organizations, and individuals to demonstrate their commitments to the climate crisis and their ability to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through concrete, multilateral actions.

In this piece, Richard McCarthy of Slow Food’s International Executive Committee reflects on Climate Week 2019, and how this year’s event was defined by a new, searing sense of urgency, where food plays an important role in discussions about climate change – as both the cause and solution to

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Indigenous Peoples from Across Russia Are Coming to Indigenous Terra Madre

The Russian Federation is home to well over 100 indigenous peoples, 41 of whom are grouped together in the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON), a non-governmental organization of small-numbered indigenous peoples which legally recognizes an indigenous people only when it has a population of less than 50,000 and lives in the Russian Far North, Far East or Siberia. At Indigenous Terra Madre 2019 we welcome Nikolai Pinoev of the Buryats people, Julia Fominykh of the Tubular people, and Ekaterina Koroleva of the Nivkhi people. The delegates represent both small-numbered indigenous peoples and those that are too large to be part of RAIPON.

We spoke to Julia and Ekaterina ahead of the event, which takes place from October 11 to 14 in

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Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food together also this year for Food for Change

Relais & Châteaux’s commitment to good, clean and fair food through the celebration of Food for Change with Slow Food, to combat climate change and protect biodiversity. From 3 to 6 October 2019. 

 Again this year, Relais & Châteaux extends their global partnership with Slow Food, the international grassroots organisation in 160 countries that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to the community and the environment, in celebrating Food for Change, a series of events, menus and chef participation around the world to combat climate change and protect biodiversity.

By cooking local and seasonal produce, eliminating the consumption of industrially produced meat, or reducing the meat content in dishes, these actions help significantly reduce the foot print impact. Relais & Châteaux members have

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