Just Food

Putting 'just food' on the table is still a global challenge. Critical scholarship suggests that more attention should be given to the 'just sustainability' dimension of food systems: JustFood indicates a collectively re-negotiable bundle of socio-ecological relations. JustFood focuses on how and why alternative food movements (AFMs) may foster this dimension, investigating the challenges of cultivating 'just food'. Drawing on theories of performativity and everyday-practices, we hypothesize that the potential for the 'just sustainability' of food systems lies in the micro-politics of AFMs and their embeddedness within broader social-environmental conflicts and movements. We employ ethnographic methods to document AFM experiences in Romania and Portugal, two peripheral countries of crisis-ridden Europe with similarities and differences in terms of agri-food cultures, histories of authoritarian regimes and socio-environmental justice movements.



SYMPOSIUM | Just Food Transitions: Addressing the Peasant Question in Europe

4 November 2021, 10 AM - 12 PM | 2 PM - 3:35 PM - Online

Overview: Transforming agricultural policies towards greater socio-environmental and food justice should be a global priority. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Farmers and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP), adopted in December 2018, is an important intervention to draw attention to the responsibilities of states and actors in the agri-food industry. In the context of new extractivism and the so-called just transition to a "green" economy, we intend to discuss the future of peasants and small producers: panelists will explore the role that alternative food movements and networks could play in the promotion of the rights of peasants and agricultural workers. The two main questions we raise and wish to discuss respectively in the two sessions are: 

1. What is the role of peasants in fostering food justice?
2. What strategies are needed to build a more sustainable just food system? 

This would allow us to also explore, from a public policy perspective, how would a Just Food Europe Transition look like?



Eco Ruralis Seed Rights Workgroup Yearly Gathering 

During the weekend 24 -25th of July, the Seed Working group of the Eco Ruralis association met in the Dambroca village, Buzau country (Central/Eastern Romania). The main discussion points were the current legal and practical issues that the seed guardians face, sharing knowledge and best practices regarding seed reproduction, the establishment of new peasant-managed “seed houses”, as well as planning the seed distribution program for next year. In terms of political activism concerning peasants’ rights, the topics proposed for discussion by the organizers included the ongoing implementation design of the Nagoya Protocol in Romania, as well as strengthening alliances with other associations such as Seeds with Soul (Semințe cu Suflet), ROMAPIS (The Romanian Association of Honey Producers), Garden of Moldova (Gradina Moldovei), The Genetic Resource Bank “Mihai Cristea” Suceava (Banga de Resurse Genetice Vegetale Suceava), The Vegetal Genetic Resource Bank Buzau (Banca de Resurse Genetice Vegetale din Buzău), The Biology Institute in Bucharest, as well as the Automated Milk Producering Farmers in Romania (Asociația Fermierilor Utilizatori de Automate de Lapte Crud din România). The organizers also aimed at maintaing a close collaboration with academia, and thus the Just Food project team was also invited. Three researchers attended the event, in order to gather and verify data, as well as to strenghten the scholar-activist approach implied in this project (Irina Velicu, Hestia Delibas, Anastasia Oprea). 

The events were hosted by the Zămoiu family in their peasant household. The agenda included visits to the traditional peasant garden of the Zamoiu family, as well as a visit to the Suliman permaculture family garden in a village nearby. 

Eco Ruralis report (in Romanian): https://www.ecoruralis.ro/2021/07/28/intalnirea-grupului-de-lucru-pentru-dreptul-la-seminte-2021/


Open letter to the Romanian government and parliament.

This open letter is an initiative of Ecoruralis and whose elaboration counted on the participation of the JUSTFood project. The letter contains a set of concrete measures on how to support small producers, and peasants, in the time of COVID. The aim is to prevent a food crisis and to protect Romanian agricultural workers.

More news realated with the project thematics

Open letter to the European Commission and European Parliament on urgent and necessary measures in Europe for rural worjers in the context of COVID-19 (in English)

Open letter from CNA (Portuguese Natinal Confederation of Agriculture) on the situation Portugal is experiencing with the Coranvirus outbreal and in view ot the declaration of the state of national emergency (in Portuguese)