Sustainable Food Systems Cannot be Postponed! – From the Marburg Gathering

November 20, 2023 | Arc2020 

As the European Commission's agenda shows little progress on the anticipated European Framework for Sustainable Food Systems ahead of the EU elections, activists and stakeholders gathered at the European Action Gathering in Marburg from November 6 to 8 to address the urgency of transitioning to future-proof sustainable food systems. Despite the absence of a concrete legislative proposal from the Commission, the event, organized by groups including and Kollektiv von MORGEN e.V., drew over 100 participants from across Europe.

Discussions focused on the need for a comprehensive legislative plan, aligning with the promised European Green Deal. Frustrations mounted over perceived policy inconsistencies, such as deregulation of GMOs and reduced commitments to pesticide reduction, undermining the goals of a sustainable food system. The gathering aimed to bridge perspectives from grassroots initiatives to policy levels, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and coherence across multiple governance levels.

In response to the perceived lack of commitment from EU bodies, participants are actively co-creating the Marburg Action Plan, a set of practices and legislative proposals to urgently operationalize sustainable food systems at various levels. The plan addresses challenges such as agri-food governance, access to land, rural infrastructure, partnerships, sustainable markets, and collective knowledge building. Despite the setbacks, advocates remain determined to propel bottom-up solutions and regional voices into European policymaking for a more sustainable and equitable food system. The first draft of the Marburg Action Plan is expected to be released in the coming weeks, showcasing a grassroots commitment to change in the absence of immediate legislative action.