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Degrowth Vienna 2020 - Degrowing the food sector: how to build democratic food policies

Vienna Conference 2020


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Panel debate

The aim of the panel is to develop a common understanding of how a socially and ecologically sustainable food systems can look like. To achieve this, we draw on existing practices and strategies of local and regional initiatives which promote sustainable food systems. There exists already a variety of collectives, networks, and food system approaches, which create opportunities and offer tangible examples and visions of what a degrowth society could look like. These initiatives offer examples, which contribute to a democratic food system and from which we can learn. The guiding question of the panel is therefore to what extend strategies used by these initiatives can serve as a strategy for degrowth. Further questions to be addressed are: As part of a democratic food policy, how can the initiatives be strengthened and up-scaled? What (else) does a democratic food policy need to contain and how can this be achieved? What keeps us locked into the current unsustainable food systems and what strategies are needed to overcome these lock-ins/barriers?

To discuss these questions, Olivier De Schutter will introduce, in a first step, insights from the IPES-Food report and relate them to the degrowth debate. His keynote will be complemented with concrete examples, covering different spatial scales – the urban, regional and the European. More concretely, Line Rise Nielsen from the institution “Changing Food – Copenhagen Food System Centre” will present an urban strategy of counselling the city. Armin Bernhard will describe a regional strategy drawing on his experience of a citizen’s cooperative in Mals (South Tyrol) and Genevieve Savigny from the European Coordination La Via Campesina will explain the role of social and peasant movements struggles for a democratic agricultural and trade policies on the European Union’s level.

Facilitator: Julianna Fehlinger – ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria

Speakers: Olivier De Schutter (Professor at UCLouvain, Belgium, and SciencesPo. Paris), Genevieve Savigny (European Coordination Via Campesina and member of the European Economic and Social Committee), Armin Bernhard (Activist and professor at the University of Bozen), Line Rise Nielsen (Food Policy Director of the Copenhagen Food System Centre)

Language: English with German translation

Technical details: food_panel.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 465MB

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