Feed people, not profit!

Read more: Agriculture l Animal welfare l Resilience

To: European Commission, National leaders of the EU Member states, Members of European Parliament

We can’t go back to business as usual after the Covid-19 crisis ends. This crisis has brought to light the fragility and instability of the current food and agricultural system in the European Union and around the world.

Over the years, big agribusiness – producing commodities to feed the worldwide demand for monocultures – kept consolidating its monopoly on supplying food, farm production and food distribution, thereby gaining increasing control over our food system.

This has led to unfair competition between citizens, farmers being paid less for their produce and work, losing their jobs and consumers paying more for our food.

We cannot overcome this crisis if we fail to ensure the resilience of our food systems by:

  • Supporting small-scale farmers, including in the transition towards agroecology
  • Promoting sustainable farming and local food supply chains
  • Protecting animal welfare and citizens’ health from bacteria causing human infections
  • Restoring our biodiversity by preventing the widespread toxic pesticide use and of soil erosion
  • Providing environmentally friendly and healthy food that works for people and farmers.


As the EU is putting in place its post Covid-19 recovery plan, revising its European Agriculture Policy (CAP) and putting forward the Farm to Fork strategy, now is the time to radically and rapidly make our food system greener, fairer, and more resilient to any future shocks. A system based on sustainable production that will generate new jobs and will protect local farmers, animals, citizens' health and our climate.

The current European agricultural model, based on unsustainable industrial production practices, is leading to the disruption and destruction of natural ecosystems, widespread toxic pesticide use and soil erosion, lack of food sovereignty in the member countries, causing animal cruelty, and the decline of biodiversity.

The economic interests of big agribusiness – who mostly rely on global import and export of the products to increase their profits – have taken precedence over small scale farmers. During the Covid-19 many European countries have seen themselves more dependent on imports from outside the EU which has caused shortages in essential products. [1]

As consequence, the lack of resilience and food sovereignty during the spread of the pandemic come at the expense of citizens' health, animal welfare, the dignity and the incomes of local farmers and migrant workers. It results in the disruption of global supply chains, the volatility in financial markets, consumer demand shocks and negative impact in key food sectors.

Europe cannot overcome this crisis if measures that are taken fail to ensure food sovereignty, to support small scale farmers, promote sustainable farming and food supply chains, protect animal welfare, restore biodiversity, and provide healthy and environmentally friendly food to everyone.

What is food sovereignty?


The farmers’ organization - Via Campesina - define food sovereignty as the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate foodproduced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It basically empowers citizens with a democratic rights to choose what food to eat, where it should come from and how we want it to grow.

Food sovereignty is grounded in 6 pillars: the right to food and nutrition, public policies that value and support small-scale food providers, localised food systems, local control over natural food producing resources, traditional knowledge, and agroecology.

Read more: Agriculture l Animal welfare l Resilience

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