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Générations Cobayes - Linking alternative food systems and health / European Civic Days 2015

From 23 - 25 October, Générations Cobayes, Non Merci (Guinea-pig Generations, No Thanks) was in Monza, Italy to participate in the international forum “Food up! From grassroots alternative food systems to new forms of food governance” organised by Fondazione Acra, Manitese, Legambiente, Friends of the Earth Cyprus, the Baltic Environmental Forum, the Scottish Crofter Federation and URGENCI, the international network of community supported agriculture.

This event took place within the framework of the Hungry for Rights project, designed to build-up global learning from local solutions in alternative food systems.

Delegations from Italy, Cyprus, France, Scotland, Lithuania and Senegal exchanged on alternative food systems (AFS), which are a form of social innovation developed between consumers and producers to experiment new solutions tackling the challenge of our conventional ways of producing, selling and consuming food.

The international forum provided an opportunity to deepen specific AFS issues, including the future for young farmers into small-scale food production; food production and delivery; local advocacy in food systems governance; food council activation; and the rights of the Commons.

As a member of the French delegation, Vivien Deloge (second from left) represented Générations Cobayes to emphasise the need to fully pay heed to health issues in AFS considering the deep interconnection between food and health. Successfully, this link was acknowledged in the European Declaration on Alternative Food Systems adopted by the participants, which aspire to lay the foundations of a movement instrumental in the consolidation of a sustainable model of food production and consumption in Europe.

The Declaration indeed states that “If we take action now, tomorrow our territories could support all citizens to thrive, by offering local, tasty, and highly nutritious products, benefitting both environment and health.”

More information at @Hungry4Rights @eathink2015 @VivienCobayes

European Civil Days

From 29 - 30 October, Générations Cobayes, participated in Strasbourg, France in the European Civic Days organised by the European Civic Forum and hosted by the Council of Europe. Under the theme “When the old is failing and the new strives to arise”, these Days gathered civil society organisations, media and academics and aimed at reviewing political, institutional and social challenges Europe is currently facing.

Workshops and small groups discussions were organised on 30 October in order to reflect on the path towards a fairer, more sustainable world where solidarity, democracy and access to rights for all would be core values.

Pauline (right) represented Générations Cobayes and facilitated small group discussions on “Sustainable societies: marginal negotiations or utopia of the great change?”.

Participants could exchange on grassroots initiatives as experiment of a possible bottom-up paradigm shift, highlighting citizens’ expectations for a better management of their social, political and economic environment.

Key conclusions from these discussions were that step by step, citizens committed to social reform and civil society are preparing change that we wish to see implemented. Optimism, patience and respect will lead us to a fairer and more sustainable society.

Originally posted on 23 November 2015

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