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Meeting on Social Impact, November 28 at Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
L’impact social au-delà des chiffres Les partenaires du projet européen VISES organisent leurs 3èmes rencontres de l’impact social : “L’impact social au-delà des chiffres “. Cet évènement se tiendra le jeudi 28 novembre 2019 de 9h30 à 14h à Villeneuve d´Ascq. Après 4 ans de recherche-action, les partenaires du projet européen VISES dévoilent leurs résultats. Entreprises-testeuses, centres de recherche, fédérations d’entreprises d’économie sociale et solidaire de France et de Belgique vous expliqueront ce qu’ils ont apporté au projet et en quoi VISES leur a été utile ! Sera également présent le TIESS (Territoires Innovants en Economie Sociale et Solidaire – centre de transfert Québécois en innovation sociale), qui nous partagera sa vision de l’évaluation de l’impact social, l’idée étant d’ouvrir la réflexion sur une vision commune de l’impact social, au delà des frontières. Pour plus d’infos sur le projet Vises, n’hésitez pas à vous rendre sur le site dédié : http://www.projetvisesproject.eu/

Pour vous inscrire ou pour plus d’informations, contacter l’Apes – Olivia Ruel-Mailfert : oliviamailfert@apes-hdf.org

The WSFTE will take place 25th-28th of June 2020 in Barcelona

The World Social Forum of Transformative Economies will take place from the 25th to the 28th of June 2020 in Barcelona. The decision was taken by the members of Barcelona’s local convergence group, the hosts of the event, which is made up of activists from various transformative economies sectors (feminist economies, food sovereignty and agroecology, the commons, the social and solidarity economy, and fair trade and ethical finance, amongst others).

The dates were chosen taking into account the calendar of international events in which the organizations of the Coordination Committee, which promotes the process at an international level, take part. The aim was that these activities would not clash with others, in order to favor the participation of as many people as possible.

With a nine-month calendar, the members of the local Barcelona convergence group and the members of the Coordination Committee are already organizing themselves in different working commissions, to take charge of tasks such as logistics, Forum contents, communications, and the welcome of the international participants who will come to Barcelona to take part in the event.

The aim is to make the WSFTE a diverse event, with broad representation from all five continents and the maximum number of different collectives, such as farm workers, indigenous people, squatters’ movements, LGBTI people, feminist movements, spiritual movements, youth movements, labour unions and also people working in education, digital economies, and alternative media, amongst others.

The idea is to boost awareness of the transformative economies projects that already exist and which prove that there is an alternative to the capitalist model, in addition to building connections between agencies, organizations and networks around the world.

Another goal is to make the WSFTE a beneficial space for the connection and convergence between the different transformative economies movements, and to define a common global agenda regarding transformative economies, in addition to a collective commitment and specific agreements to ensure the continuation of the movement beyond the convergence process.

To reach these goals, the WSFTE will include a program based on different roadmaps with activities such as workshops, talks, cultural program, creative spaces, virtual participation and areas for children, amongst other.

To follow the Forum’s news, how to register, virtual participation spaces, local convergence events, videos, see https://transformadora.org/en

For more information on the July meeting and the composition of the new Coordination Committee for the event, see https://transformadora.org/en/node/241

Global Peace Marches 2019-2020 from India and Senegal

On October 2, 2019 – the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, a 14,000 km, one-year global march for justice and peace, called Jai Jagat 2020, will start from New Delhi to Geneva. Winding through 10 countries with nonviolence training and events on key justice themes along the way, and joining with separate marches starting from a number of countries in Europe and northwest Africa as well as delegates from around the world, participants will be welcomed and hosted by the City and Canton of Geneva for a week (26 September – 2nd October 2020) of workshops, advocacy meetings and cultural events.

This initiative urges the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a dialogue with UN agencies in Geneva. Four Pillars of Advocacy related to the SDGs are at the core of the Jai Jagat campaign. These are: eradication of poverty, social inclusion, climate justice and the nonviolent resolution of conflicts.

Local committees all along the route will organize daily events, and there will be daily non-violence trainings, making this a year-long practice of non-violence. In some countries new families and new individuals with different stories will be included in the march.

​The arrival of the great march of Jai Jagat bearing the message of Gandhi and the voice of the voiceless is the perfect occasion, through a nonviolent dialogue, to promote various solutions for a world that works for everyone. To welcome the march, a festival/forum of change will be launched; combining, according to Gandhi’s vision, individual transformation with collective change. An innovative contribution to the key role of Geneva in the success of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations.

The Caravan For The Earth To Live

The POUR QUE VIVE LA TERRE caravan offers its public a meeting place for the diffusion and sharing of actions that bring hope.

In agriculture, ecology, politics, economics, social and cultural alternative solutions exist. The caravan creates a space for sharing so that these solutions can grow through the commitment of all. It takes place on average one week in each place to offer conferences, screenings, shows, parties and workshops. We think about it, we learn about it, we train ourselves, we celebrate.


In the face of the current economic, social and environmental crises, many individuals are seeking a profound change in the way we live our societies. But many feel that they are helpless. What can I do about it?

Vectors of positive transformations, carriers of hope, the various alternatives underway are already determining the advent of a better world where the human values of solidarity, sobriety and respect for nature will be at the heart of our projects and our businesses.

The caravan is associated with the Delhi-Geneva Jai Jagat 2020 march, organized by Ekta Parishad, which will arrive in Geneva in October 2020.

Independant media talk about SSE

Independent media are close to the SSE, often by their status and especially by the values they defend. But how do they approach it? Here is a selection of independent media articles from the last three months. You can also find them on the map of socioeco.org: Journalism of Solutions (the articles are located in the city where the experience is taking place or, in the case of a general article, in the city where the media is based).

As you will see, the articles are in their original language, due to the diversity of European countries. For Greek, for which the Efsyn journal is particularly present with sometimes several articles per week on SSE, an English summary is included. This will allow you to perceive which themes are covered by these media: sustainable development, refugees, self-management, cooperatives, organic agriculture, etc. Feel free to send us an article or a media site to improve the map and our knowledge of SSE. Write to Françoise Wautiez: fwautiez[at]socioeco.org

Cover picture of El Salto Diario,13/08/2019


En Grèce, dans une usine autogérée, le travail devient un « lieu de solidarité et de liberté », Andrea Fuori, Raphaël Goument
Article de BastaMag, 8 juillet 2019 [lire]

Interview de Vincent Liegey sur la coopérative sociale décroissante Cargonomia
Article de Mediapart, 18 juillet 2019 [lire]

L’écoféminisme, contre toutes les formes d’oppression
numéro 16 – Printemps 2018 de la revue Les Possibles d’ATTAC sur « Le(s) féminisme(s) aujourd’hui ». [lire]


Alternativas Economicas n°71: Las cooperativas de cohousing
Mariana Vilnitzky, 2019 [lire]

Enseña el corazon. Haz auditoría social
Articulo de el salto diario, 07/06/2019 [lire]

¿Montamos una cooperativa de plataforma? Patricia Bolinches
Artículo de El Salto,18/05/2019 [lire]

Supermercados cooperativos: gente ordinaria haciendo cosas extraordinarias, José Luis Fernández Casadevante
articulo de eldiario.es, 24/06/2019 [lire]

De paseo por comunidades cuidadoras, Edith Pérez Alonso, Daniel García Blanco
Blog de El Salto, 11 de julio 2019 [lire]

Susana Martín: « La moneda social es un instrumento de política pública »
Genoveva López Morales
Blog de El Salto, 13 de julio 2019 [lire]

¿Por qué Barcelona acogerá el Foro Social Mundial de las Economías Transformadoras? Núria Segura Insa
Blog de El Salto, 05 de agosto 2019 [lire]

‘Cohousing’, un modelo que se abre camino, Mariana Vlnitzky
articulo de eldiario.es, 01/06/2019 [lire]

Alternativas de energía ciudadana contra el cambio climático, Jordi Ibañez
Blog de El Salto, 13 de agosto 2019 [lire]

Emergencia climática, respuestas y alternativas de la Economía Social y Solidaria
Articulo de el salto diario, 19/09/2019 [lire]


Opening Event of the Shonai Renewable Energy Power
Article of Seikatsu Club.coop, 31/05/2019, [lire]

Is fair trade finished? Samanth Subramanian
Article of The Guardian, 23 of July 2019 [lire]

Trickle-up economics, Ted Howard
Article of Prospect, July 13, 2019 [lire]


«Ρεστία»: το βουβό κύμα της επιτυχίας (Fighting ocean pollution)
Ioanna Sotirchou
Article of EFSYN, 10/06/2019 [lire]

Η Κ.ΑΛ.Ο. στην Ελλάδα: μικρά βήματα, μεγάλος δρόμος (SSE in Greece: small steps, a long road ahead), Cristina Pantzou
Article of EFSYN, 03/06/2019 [lire]

Τήλος συνεργατική, πολυπολιτισμική και ενεργειακά αυτόνομη (Tilos collaborative, multicultural and energy-independent), Ioanna Sotirchou
Article of EFSYN, 24/06/2019 [lire]

Υπηρεσίες στα χέρια δήμων και πολιτών (Services in the hands of municipalities and citizens), Cristina Pantzou
Article of EFSYN, 20/05/2019 [lire]

Κινήματα πόλης κατά των ιδιωτικοποιήσεων (Urban movements against privatisation=, Ioanna Sotirchou, Aphrodite Tziantzi
Article of EFSYN, 20/05/2019 [lire]

Γαστροτουρισμός και γυναικείοι συνεταιρισμοί (Gastronomic tourism and women’s cooperatives), Michael Angelos Konstantopoulos
Article of EFSYN, 29/07/2019 [lire]

Φυσική δόμηση, καλλιέργειες και εναλλακτική μάθηση (Natural construction, agriculture and alternative learning), Aphrodite Tziantzi
Article of EFSYN, 22/07/2019 [lire]

Η «Παλαιοβράχα» δίνει το παράδειγμα (« Paleovracha » gives the example)
Lena Kyriakidi
Article of EFSYN, 22/07/2019 [lire]

Αγροτικοί συνεταιρισμοί: η μόνη λύση για τον πρωτογενή τομέα (Rural cooperatives: the only solution for the primary sector), Michael Angelos Konstantopoulos
Article of EFSYN, 05/08/2019 [lire]


Il tempo del consumo critico, Francesco Gesualdi
articolo de Comune.info, 7 luglio 2019 [lire]


Euclides André Mance, filòsof i teòric de l’economia solidària « L’economia solidària ha de desenvolupar una estratègia global per afrontar el totalitarisme capitalista », Ivan Miró
Artículo La Directa, 9 juliol 2019 [lire]

Cuidem Lluçanès: combatre l’atur femení però també dignificar el sector de les cures, Josep Comajoan
Articulo de Setembre, 30/07/2019 [lire]

«Estem recuperant una altra manera de viure i de treballar la terra»
Núria Farrés
Articulo de Setembre, 11/07/2019 [lire] (

«Som una cooperativa d’acompanyants, però som moltes: les famílies, els infants i el poble», Núria Farrés
Articulo de Setembre, 16/05/2019 [lire]

Mengem Osona, la sobirania alimentària al servei de productors i consumidors, Josep Comajoan
Articulo de Setembre, 11/07/2019 [lire]

«Vam muntar una botigueta en un poble petit on no hi havia cap servei»
Núria Farrés
Articulo de Setembre, 11/07/2019 [lire]

Climate Emergency, Responses and Alternatives from the Social and Solidarity Economy
Foto Blog El Salto Diario

Blog of El Salto Diario, 19/09/2019, Comisión Ecología de la Red de Economía Solidaria de Cataluña (XES)

With the Climate Strike of September 27 and the week of actions planned for the previous week on the horizon, we reflect on the role of the Solidarity Economy in these mobilizations and its ability to contribute to moving towards more sustainable and supportive post-carbon societies.

We have 11 years (only) left to reach the allowable global temperature limit of the planet, and once exceeded it will lead to an irreversible and unprecedented change in the Earth’s climate that will pose a threat to future generations. This was the forceful emergency message of the United Nations (UN) after its 73rd High Level Meeting on Climate and Sustainable Development last March. (…)

The impacts generated by climate change are direct and indirect, and related to human activity, according to scientific evidence. Natural ecosystems are intimately interrelated with this activity.

Faced with this, several States and Administrations around the world have declared the Climate Emergency, a total of some 800, a figure in continuous growth since the city of Darebin, Australia, declared in 2016 for the first time this state of Climate Emergency.

Along with these institutional pronouncements, various social and ecological movements, trade unions, administrations and, of course, also the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) are articulating and mobilizing to achieve impact actions that contribute to the paradigm shift necessary to face this emergency. The call for a Strike against Climate Change on September 27 and the mobilizations planned for the week of September 20 to 27 are proof of this, and there are many movements and organizations that are working to make these calls a success.

But what does it mean to declare a state of Climate Emergency? Does the alert that the social and environmental movements of the world are putting on the public agenda have the same strategy to put an end to climate change? Is it possible to promote peace, prosperity and the Sustainable Development Goals in a globally capitalist world, based on linear economic growth, which does not take into account the limits of the planet? Do the Sustainable Development Goals really promote a Social Economy, fair, equitable and democratically radical throughout the world?

An ESS for the EcoSocial Transition

Faced with all these questions, the entities that promote ecology within the Social and Solidarity Economy have their proposals. The SSE is part of the set of transforming economies that are erected as an alternative economic model to the prevailing capitalist model and that prioritize the welfare of people and their environment. They are, therefore, the most suitable to provide an effective solution that reduces the socio-environmental impacts that our society has generated and that have resulted in the current climate emergency situation.

The SSE comprises a great variety of initiatives that develop an economic activity from a collective base with a clear will to contribute to the transformation of our society, integrating social and environmental criteria in its values, organization and activities.

Within the SSE we find formulas as diverse as cooperatives, foundations and even associations, which incorporate a certain level of professionalism. Thus, the link with grassroots social movements is very close, to the extent that some initiatives arise from the hand of people linked to these movements, who decide to take a further step for the implementation of their social and environmental demands, carrying out projects or services related to these demands or simply developing an economic activity with a more sustainable approach.

The SSE is an economic practice that is developed in different sectors of the economy, such as: communication, energy, mobility, agroecology, food, consumption, etc. Many of these initiatives are clear examples of success, such as the renewable energy consumption cooperative Som Energia, whose work contributes to the fight against climate change. Emerging from the university world and closely linked to social movements, it has reached 60,270 members. It is an experience that also makes it possible to empower people to consume renewable energy sources and even participate in the generation of energy itself, either in collective facilities or as a prosumer.

The SSE is therefore an opportunity to build socioeconomic models that contribute to the transition to the post-carbon society to which we are heading. But there may be many post-carbon societies and various transitions to reach them. We need this ecological transition to be an opportunity to build more just, equitable and democratic societies. And this transition process must be rapid, because we have little time, and if it is not led by the Social and Solidarity Economy and other alternatives, the big corporations will do it.

But is the Social and Solidarity Economy ready? It is important that the fabric of the SSE asks itself this question, and sees the transitions as a great opportunity to accelerate and grow these alternatives that have been cultivated for years. Because if we don’t manage to build this necessary space from the SSE, we may find ourselves with undesirable scenarios, more and more unequal and with a growth of ecofascisms.

Challenges on the horizon

We have several challenges to strengthen the SSE in the face of the Climate Emergency situation. We need to make the ecological transition the backbone of our strategies for promoting and strengthening the SSE, which entails, for example, prioritizing the strategic sectors for the transition.

On the other hand, we must orient the SSE to its growth, in order to generate broad and replicable alternatives that can compete with large corporations. Likewise, we must influence the educational and cultural model, which promotes individualism, fostering instead cooperation and solidarity, and deepen the links and alliances that can be woven between transformative economic initiatives and social movements that fight for social rights, the environment and climate emergency.

But, in addition to the day-to-day transformation actions that we contribute from the SSE in pursuit of the decarbonization of our lives and activities, the great challenge is to extrapolate these more ecological and democratic operating models to the rest of society. And we have to start with the social entities, cooperatives and companies of the SSE themselves, which have yet to incorporate a more ecological and environmentally friendly vision into their operations. This is, in fact, one of the objectives for which the Ecology Commission of the XES (Xarxa d’Economia Solidaria de Catalunya) was born: “to strengthen the ecological dimension of the Social and Solidarity Economy”.

There is a long way to go with the whole universe of the SSE and the climate movements, and as we point out it must be extended to the whole of society, given the urgency of the problem and the need to provide short-term responses to the climate emergency.

In this process, the next calls for mobilization for climate justice to raise awareness and generate the paradigm shift necessary to move to a decarbonized society and economy will be key. In these mobilizations, we are going to bring together diverse entities and people, and the entities of the Social and Solidarity Economy must play a key role as the engine of this global paradigm shift.

Therefore, we assume as our own the declaration of Climate Emergency, (in Spanish) and we call for active mobilization and massive participation in the World Climate Strike next September 27, as well as in the activities of this First Wave of mobilizations, scheduled since September 20.

Because, the Social and Solidarity Economy will be sustainable and fair or it won’t be.
Because only from a firm and clear commitment to a decarbonized economy will we see the world in which we want to live.
We ‘ll meet on the Wave!

Solidarity with Riace
September 20, 2019

Article by Elisabeth Voß, NETZ für Selbstverwaltung und Kooperation Berlin-Brandenburg e.V.

Mural by Carlos Atoche on the wall of the (former) village school.
Photo by Elisabeth Voss.

Like many mountain villages in Southern Italy, Riace on the East coast of Calabria is also affected by outward migration. Since 1998, refugees have been taken in there, could live in the village and work together with the locals in small projects. Life returned to the village, there were jobs and modest prosperity, and the school was able to reopen. For the refugees, the solidarity-based reception was an alternative to accommodation in the inhumane mass camps, where the Mafia also often earns well. Riace and his mayor Domenico “Mimmo” Lucano were known all over the world and honoured with many prizes.

Two years ago, however, the payment of subsidies from the SPRAR program (Sistema di Protezione per Richiedenti Asilo e Rifugiati) was stopped, in October 2018 Domenico Lucano was arrested, placed under house arrest, then banished from Riace. The welcome projects were closed. Domenico Lucano and about 30 other residents were accused of promoting illegal immigration. In May 2019, Antonio Trifoli, a candidate supported by the Lega, won the mayoral election, but he is currently under impeachment proceedings. On September 5th 2019 – one day after Salvini was no longer Minister of the Interior – Lucano was allowed to enter his village again.

Cultural festival of the foundation “È stato il vento” at the beginning of August 2019.
Photo by Valeria Fioranti.

There are repeated protests against these attacks against humanity and solidarity. A foundation “È stato il vento” (It was the wind) was established. It supports the remaining refugees in Riace and wants to “create and secure a local economy based on the criteria of solidarity, emancipation and respect for the environment”. The foundation is renovating flats for a new solidarity tourism and is preparing the reopening of the workshops.

The RIPESS General Assembly in Lyon in June 2019 decided to support Riace. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Elisabeth Voß of the new RIPESS member, NETZ für Selbstverwaltung und Selbstorganisation“ (NETZ for self-government and self-organisation), or directly the Foundation.

More about the foundation: https://estatoilvento.it/
Elisabeth Voß collects informations about Riace here (in German): www.riace.solioeko.de

Translation of the text :

Solidariät mit Riace

Wie viele Bergdörfer in Süditalien ist auch Riace an der kalabrischen Ostküste von Abwanderung betroffen. Seit 1998 wurden dort Flüchtlinge aufgenommen, konnten im Dorf leben und mit den Einheimischen in kleinen Projekten zusammen arbeiten. Es kam wieder Leben ins Dorf, es gab Arbeitsplätze und bescheidenen Wohlstand, die Schule konnte wieder öffnen. Für die Flüchtlinge war die solidarische Aufnahme eine Alternative zur Unterbringung in den menschenunwürdigen Massenlagern, an denen auch die Mafia oft gut verdient. Die Regierung nahm die Aufnahmebereitschaft des Dorfes gerne in Anspruch, Riace und sein Bürgermeister Domenico „Mimmo“ Lucano wurden dafür weltweit bekannt und mit vielen Preisen geehrt.

Bereits vor zwei Jahren wurde jedoch die Auszahlung der Fördermittel aus dem SPRAR-Programm (Sistema di Protezione per Richiedenti Asilo e Rifugiati) eingestellt, im Oktober 2018 wurde Domenico Lucano verhaftet, unter Hausarrest gestellt, dann aus Riace verbannt. Die Willkommensprojekte wurden geschlossen. Domenico Lucano und etwa 30 weitere Einwohner*innen wurden angeklagt wegen der Förderung illegaler Einreise. Im Mai 2019 gewann der von der Lega unterstützte Kandidat Antonio Trifoli die Bürgermeisterwahl, jedoch läuft gegen ihn ein Amtsenthebungsverfahren. Erst am 5. September 2019 – einen Tag nachdem Salvini nicht mehr Innenminister war – durfte Lucano sein Dorf wieder betreten.

Gegen diese Angriffe auf Menschlichkeit und Solidarität gibt es immer wieder Proteste. Eine Stiftung „È stato il vento“ (Es war der Wind) wurde gegründet. Sie unterstützt die verbliebenen Flüchtlinge in Riace und möchte dort wieder “eine lokale Wirtschaft schaffen und sichern, die auf den Kriterien der Solidarität, der Emanzipation und des Respekts für die Umwelt basiert.” Die Stiftung richtet Wohnungen für einen neuen Solidaritätstourismus her und bereitet die Wiedereröffnung der Werkstätten vor.

Die Mitgliederversammlung von RIPESS im Juni 2019 in Lyon hat beschlossen, Riace zu unterstützen. Näheres in einem nächsten Rundbrief, wer Fragen oder Anregungen hat, wende sich bitte an Elisabeth Voß vom neuen RIPESS-Mitglied „NETZ für Selbstverwaltung und Selbstorganisation“, oder direkt an die Stiftung.

Mehr zur Stiftung: https://estatoilvento.it/
Elisabeth Voß sammelt hier Informationen zu Riace (in deutscher Sprache): www.riace.solioeko.de

Community Supported Agriculture and Climate Change

How does the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) contribute to the fight against global warming? Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci, explains the role of Community Supported Agriculture and its benefits in mitigating our impact on the climate.

Written by Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci

Climate change, or climate crisis as it is now more correctly called, is the elephant in the room. Everyone knows it is there, and is acting as though it is invisible. Yet it is the single most deadly threat to humanity and life on earth. This September will see several key global events, from the Climate Action Summit to the Global Climate Strike from September 20th to 27th.

Sadly, when you work deeply on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at UN level, you fast realise that they are built on an inherent growth model that continues to exploit more planetary reserves and fossil fuels than our planet or climate can support. And that the indicators that exist can not be changed. But that should not and hopefully will not stop us from acting on the ground!

Yet although we have probably now reached the tipping point where the damage to our climate has become irreversible, we can still do much to mitigate the impacts. And indeed we must address the issues as urgently as possible, with legal frameworks at State and Local Authority level. Placing the responsibility on individual consumers is not and can not provide more than a sticking plaster on the haemorrhage of runaway climate change.

So let us look at some of the aspects where it might be possible to make small but significant impacts to mitigate the burning issues. And burning they are right now, from the Amazon to the Arctic…

The benefits of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Peasant agriculture, small-scale family farming, artisinal fisheries and Indigenous practice combine in agroecology to provide us with a science, a practice and a social movement that includes solidarity economy. This has been recognised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the 10 Elements of Agroecology. And short/direct food chains, especially Community Supported Agriculture can be placed high on the list of linking producers to consumers to build sustainable territorial food systems. The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model works on the basis of a tandem of producer/consumer direct localised solidarity-based relations, and has the concept of shared risks and benefits at the heart of the concept.

How does CSA benefit the climate? Well firstly, agroecological practice involves using no chemical inputs or plastics (in some cases this may involve a transitional period). It uses techniques such as mulching and cover crops as well as the use of good old-fashioned manure as fertiliser. And it is possible to fight insects and pests through either companion crops or natural insecticides produced on-farm. So no fossil fuels or externalisation involved.

There are also a number of ways in which the impact on the soil can be minimised, such as ‘no till’ or using draft horses to plough the fields. Again, no fossil fuels involved. In the case of harvesting, much is done manually as well, as in the case of Rupert Dunn, a wonderful peasant-baker who grows his own heritage grains in Wales, and harvests the fields using a scythe! In most CSAs, there are also farm days when the CSA members come and help on the farm. My grandsons soon learnt that picking up potatoes on their CSA was hard, back-breaking work. They now have a new appreciation of what work goes into the potato crop!

As the climate becomes increasingly unstable, it is essential to use local peasant seeds that can adapt progressively to these changes. They stand a far better chance of resilience, compared with hybrid or even GM- CRISPR modified seeds sold by the big seed companies. They are also far higher in nutritional value, both instrinsically and because the soil is healthy, living soil with a rich micro-biome. Which leads to a healthy human micro-biome and healthier, happier people!

In terms of nutrition, climate change is set to reduce the nutritional value of food in a serious way. The agroecological approach and fast food-to-fork turn over means that nutritional value is optimised. Many greens lose 30% of their nutritional value and vitamins in particular after the first 3 days. Chemical inputs (pesticides and fetilisers) are now proven to cause over 20% more cancers than a diet of organic/agroecologically grown food. So imagine if your salad is grown in the South of Spain, on a farm using chemical inputs, and has travelled for several days to reach your supermarket…

The impact of our current model

The global trend is also the capture of the complete food chain by the industrial food companies (the same groups as those who own the seeds, the inputs, and the farms also own the food processing companies and supermarket chains…). Sadly “cheap” processed food and ready meals that are high in fat and sugar are widely bought by many consumers. People have in many cases forgotten how to cook, if indeed they ever knew how, which is the norm for many of the younger generation. This represents a quadruple danger: the destruction of the environment and climate change through industrial agriculture; the myth of “cheap” food based on exploitation of labour and lack of real nutritional content in the food (calories versus nutrition is a serious global issue); the excessive use of fossil fuel in the processing, transport and excessive packaging. And finally the cost of excessive healthcare linked to obesity and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) from eating an unhealthy diet.

This article would not be complete without some mention of climate change and the management of our rivers and oceans. Excessive chemical inputs on large industrial conventional farms and release of slurry has created a very toxic situation for many of our rivers through the run-off first into streams and rivers and then into the oceans. And this in turn contributes to the acidification of our oceans. And just as large-scale industrial farms are producing poor quality meat and vegetables, industrial fisheries are destroying the oceans. Artisinal fishers can provide local communities with fresh fish, and there are a growing number of Community Supported Fisheries that operate in the same way as Community Supported Agriculture. Urgenci is currently working to develop this activity.

In terms of sustainable territorial food systems, and CSA in particular, there is also a low carbon footprint concerning the delivery from farms to the eaters. Delivery points are often in the schools or a neighbourhood café, so parents can easily access these points without having to use their car any more than they already would be using it. It is aslo quite common to have multiple producers deliver at the same point, thus allowing consumers to do a ‘one-stop-shop’ just like at the supermarket. Except that it is far more convivial!

The importance of community lands

There is also a shift to the remunicipalisation and relocalisation of public procurement: moving to local food production and preparation for school meals and Green Public Procurement is a strong emerging trend in many cities. It can even involve Community Land Trusts, or use local Municipal Land to grow the food. The question of land is indeed one of the key issues today in building sustainable territorial food systems and guaranteed urban rural linkages. Green belts need to be preserved to ensure food production can continue, and access to land for young producers also needs to be facilitated.

Community Land Trusts are one of the key ways of doing this, as well as incubator farms and agroecology farmer-to-farmer field training schools. Local Authorities have a vital role to play in facilitating these aspects. Good policy exists in terms of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance and Tenure of Land, Forests and Fisheries, as well as the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries. Likewise, there are a growing number of farmer-led and consumer led co-operative shops, and many different manifestations of a growing movement to relocalise our food systems and fight climate change. This shift is clearly aligned with many values of solidarity economy, generally involves participatory governance, and has the growing implication of Local Authorities at different levels. Different mechanisms exist to ensure affordability for those who are socially excluded.

The commitment to CSA does involve learning to use what is in your weekly share and to cook somewhat differently than if you make a shopping list and go to the supermarket, but it is a collective adventure and generally a return to how our grandparents ate and cooked. Community Supported Agriculture and Community Supported Fisheries are by far the most committed model, and the fight to re-appropriate our food system through food sovereignty and the right to food lies at the core. Human rights are indivisible. The rights of Mother Earth and the right to a healthy nutritious diet are closely linked and at the core of our fight to stop runaway climate change.

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