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Catching up on Growing Together

Posted by Triona Reid on June 17, 2020 at 11:26 PM

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COVID-19 has brought our global food system into sharp focus. There is a thirst for knowledge and an eagerness to source local, sustainable food that is produced in harmony with nature and provides a living wage to farmers.

The Growing Together activist group, which is supported by Friends of the Earth, have been busy creating opportunities for people to learn more about food sovereignty in Ireland and how we can promote and engage with it. Here’s a quick round up of what the team have been up to over the past few months. Sign up here if you'd like to get involved!

Future of Food Webinar

We kicked off our online events with the ‘Future of Food’ webinar where we heard from Wayne Frankham of the Irish Seed Savers Association, Sinéad Moran of Foodture, and Fergal Anderson of Talamh Beo on the practical work that these organisations are doing around food and food justice issues in Ireland and abroad.

Globally, there are many injustices in our food system. Corporate control of seeds is an issue that has affected many farmers across the world and has resulted in devastating impacts in the Global South. This already dire situation is aggravated by COVID-19 quarantines, as people who survive in the informal economy can no longer work and are facing hunger and economic recession. The World Food Programme predicts that the number of people facing hunger in 2020 will double.

Given these injustices, and others, in the dominant global food production and consumption structure, it is imperative that we organise at a grassroots level to produce food locally and connect food growers to consumers. We hosted this webinar to highlight the work that organisations are doing on the ground in Ireland. You can watch it back here.

 

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Food Soverignity Training & Meeting with MEPs 

After the cancellation of our in-person Food Sovereignty training that was due to take place in Brussels in April the training was moved online, allowing a greater number of participants to attend. The main objective of this online training was to promote young people's demands on agriculture and food sovereignty, especially towards European policy-makers. The training took the form of a series of webinars covering topics including the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), food sovereignty and the global south and how to address MEPs on CAP and Food Sovereignty. The week of online trainings ended with some very engaging online discussions between young people from accross Europe and their elected representatives. The Declaration on Food Sovereignty was presented to MEPs during this meeting.

Youth Voices on Food Sovereignty

This month we were very excited to launch the European Youth Declaration on Food Sovereignty. The way that food is produced, consumed, and distributed is a major issue facing Europe - and one that directly impacts the lives of young people across the continent. Yet, the voice of young people is not often heard when our food system is being discussed.

Young people from across Ireland and Europe have been working hard over the past year to produce their Declaration on Food Sovereignity, featuring the voices of youth from YFOE Europe, Growing Together, ASEED & La Via Campesina. The Declaration was officially launched and formally introduced at a cross Europeam Food Sovereignty Webinar on Friday June 5th. See links below to access the document in English & Irish.

Click here to view the Declaration in English

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Eco Week

Growing Together partnered with ECO-UNESCO for their Eco-Week to run a series of workshops for young people interested in food and agriculture. These events included; connecting with nature workshops, zine making workshops, vegan cooking demos delivered by the very popular Veghuns and a “veggie debate”.

Growing Together have lots of plans for the coming months, click here to find out more!

Sign up to join the Growing Together team, here!

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