(Re-)territorializing agriculture : Between the promotion of local products and trade in Europe
European Conference organized by Nicolas Loodts, Christine Frison, Julie Hermesse and Nicolas Dendoncker
June 28th 2021
- Guy Pe’er - Professor, German Centre for integrative Biodiversity Research, iDiv, Leipzig, Germany
- Gérard Choplin - Free-lance analyst-writer on farming, food, and trade policies, farmers’ organisations
- Federico de Musso - Post-doc, Leiden University
- Scaffidi Cinzia - Free-lance journalist, writer and lecturer, on global issues related to food, Italia
- Guntra Aistara - Associate Professor, Central European University, Austria
- Cristina Grasseni - Professor, Leiden University, Netherlands
- Jérémie Forney - Assistant Professor, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Through its "From Farm to Fork" strategy, published in May 2020 (in the middle of the coronavirus crisis), the European Union, encouraged by citizens' movements, advocates a transition of food systems (including production, transport, distribution and marketing) towards positive or neutral environmental impact to respond to the challenges generated by climate change. This strategy converges with the new Green Deal portfolio whose objective is "to restore the balance between human activity and nature" (Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission).
The challenge is significant. Despite the strategy's stated ambition to change food systems, its contours remain blurred. Yet the urgency is clear: the health crisis linked to COVID-19 has, among other things, highlighted the lack of resilience of European food systems in the face of a global crisis. At the heart of the first wave, when the delivery of medical equipment was suffering from delocalized production, calls and warnings about the risk of destabilizing food production and supply chains multiplied (notably FAO on March 26, 2020; FAO, WHO and WTO on March 31, 2020). Will our heavy dependence on global supply chains and the new awareness of their fragility allow us to envisage an innovative emancipation project for Europe to combine food, climate and environmental resilience? If the European strategy "From Farm to Fork" seems to be giving a new political direction to ensure the resilience of systems to both environmental crises and socio-economic changes, the Common Agricultural Policy planned for the next seven years seems to be going in the opposite direction.
This conference aims to explore ways to build resilience in European food systems. This academic event will be held in a mixed face-to-face and distance mode, and will leave room for dialogue with actors of the agricultural world (e.g. representatives of cooperatives, farmers' movements, agricultural unions, representatives of European agricultural policy, etc.), who are warmly invited to participate.
As a follow-up to this conference, we encourage participants to contribute to a thematic issue (journal prospecting in progress) that we will co-edit.
Here are some of the themes that will be addressed during the conference:
- Production lock-ins and the role of farmers, citizens and networks as levers: What is the place of the “terroirs” and of the soil and climate characteristics in a new pattern of exchanges? How can we allow the development of agricultural models with highly differentiated yields while avoiding putting them in competition? What is the place of citizens and collectives in innovative supply chains? How can agricultural and cooperative innovations be made politically viable? How can we promote the greening of production and the relocation of supply chains without putting in difficulty farms that are often dependent on globalized markets? How to get out of a free circulation of agricultural production while not closing trade borders?
- Territories and scales: How can local, national, European and international territories be articulated in a sustainable and resilient food strategy? How can the local supply circuit be articulated with wider supply chains?
- CAP and resilience: How can the CAP be a transformative tool towards greater resilience? What role does the CAP attribute to farmers and alternative production and consumption circuits? How can the CAP guarantee a decent income for differentiated agriculture?
These issues will be addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective, allowing for complementary insights from different disciplines. They may be explored from a theoretical, empirical or mixed point of view.
Organizing Committee & contact details
- Loodts Nicolas, UCLouvain, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Frison Christine, UCLouvain, email@example.com
- Hermesse Julie, UCLouvain, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dendoncker Nicolas, UNamur, email@example.com
- Bauler Tom, Université Libre de Bruxelles
- Barret Philippe, UCLouvain
- Dendoncker Nicolas, UNamur
- De Schutter Olivier, UCLouvain
- Frison Christine, UCLouvain
- Hecquet Corentin, Université de Liège
- Hermesse Julie, UCLouvain
- Laurent Pierre-Joseph, UCLouvain
- Loodts Nicolas, UCLouvain
- Stassart Pierre-Marie, Université de Liège