More land news, film release and reports

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Welcome to the second newsletter of the Access to Land network. In this issue, we are very excited to announce the launch of our new film, The Land for our Food. Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard to finish this film and to prepare subtitles in six different languages – English and French are ready so far, more are coming soon!

We have also been adding new reports, resources and events to our website exploring issues around land and its impacts on agro-ecological food and farming.

New film:
The Land for our Food

New farmer Gavin explores what ‘access to land’ means for farmers across Europe in this new film. Including an exclusive interview with UK journalist George Monbiot, the road movie features the stories of a new grower in France, next generation shepherds in the Catalan Pyrenees, farmland squatters outside Rome and a Romanian peasant trying to survive in a landscape of corporate agriculture. The film is a great way to introduce new audiences to the issue of access to land.
Watch the film here.


Investigation: Rabobank grabbing Romanian peasant farmland

Attila Szocs of Eco Ruralis reports on an investigation by journalists that has found stolen Romanian farmland in the hands of a Dutch banking giant. Attila introduces their articles here.

Evolution of farmland structures and policies

For those of us in countries with unregulated land markets we are often envious of structures such as France’s Les SAFER. This report takes stock of and analyses existing policies and instruments in seven EU countries. Available in English and French, and soon in German. Read more here.

Land Rush - Sell-out of Europe’s Agricultural Land

Maria Heubuch, German Green Party MEP has commissioned a report to shed light on the issue of land concentration in Europe. The report highlights this major threat to small- and medium-scale agriculture and young farmers. Read it here.

In February, the Agricultural Committee of the European Parliament decided to conduct an own-initiative report on the issue of access to land and land grabbing in the EU. The rapporteur, from the Socialists and Democrats Group, will present the report in a few months. It is the first time the Parliament has directly taken action on this issue. We’ll be following its progress closely.


Land reform in Scotland

Exciting things are going on in Scotland with their Land Reform Bill. Scotland has ‘the most concentrated, most inequitable, most unreformed and most undemocratic land ownership system in the entire developed world’. Elli Kontorravdis of Nourish Scotland reports on what it really means. Read the article here.

Petition to European Parliament

The European Parliament has just accepted a petition to call attention to access to land issues, submitted by members of the Access to Land network and Via Campesina Europe. This is a first victory in terms of getting Parliament’s interest and recognition of its role on land issues. We know that it will be examined by both the Agriculture and Environment Committees of the European Parliament. Read the full petition and follow up steps here.


La Via Campesina International Conference, Brazil, 11-20 April

This week the global peasant movement, La Via Campesina, will hold its International Conference for People’s Agrarian Reform in Maraba, Brazil. Ten years on from the 2006 Porto Alegre Conference, this meeting aims to evaluate the process of agrarian reforms around the world. We’ll report back afterwards but for now, read more here including the original declaration.

AgriKultur Festival, Germany, 22-24 July

Agriculture is more than the production of cheap food for supermarkets - it is part of our culture! The AgriKultur Festival in Freiburg, highlights local, organic food and farming culture with presentations, discussions, workshops, great live music, arts, theatre and of course food and drinks. More details here.

You can find more reports, events, and projects that are working on access to land in Europe, on our website:
If you come across relevant news, reports, or other resources on access to land, please do let us know.

This newsletter is produced as part of an Erasmus+ partnership involving the following organisations:

AIAB Lazio, Italy
EcoRuralis, Romania
Regionalwert AG, Germany
Rurbans – Escola de Pastors de Catalunya, Spain
Soil Association, UK
Terre de liens, France (coordinator)
Terre-en-vue, Belgium
The Real Farming Trust, UK
Xarxa de custodia del territori, Spain

All views expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the authors. Erasmus+ and European Commission are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained here.

About us

We are an informal network of European organisations working on issues around access to land for sustainable agro-ecological farming. Each issue, we will introduce the members network.
Rurbans School of Shepherds, Catalonia
Based in northern Catalonia, Rurbans is working to rejuvenate Pyrenean mountains and other rural areas to foster a new generation of peasants. It trains young people as organic shepherds and cattle breeders and supports them to find land and develop new farm businesses. Read more
RWAG Organic products

Regionalwert AG, Germany 

Regionalwert AG is a citizen shareholder corporation through which people invest in the organic food and farming in the region of Freiburg. Working at all levels of the supply chain, they support agricultural production, processing, retailing and further services. Read more
Nick Snelgar with cows

Real Farming Trust, UK

The Real Farming Trust is promoting an agrarian renaissance. Its Funding Enlightened Agriculture group, brings together ethical investors, banks, funders and philanthropists to look at ways to invest and support the public to invest in food and farming and land projects. Read more


Find access to land organisations

Past events

Oxford Real Farming Conference, UK
We hosted several sessions at the popular Oxford Real Farming Conference in January including a preview of our new film, The Land for our Food. Further sessions included the troubled history of land ownership in the UK, the role of housing and the potential for land reform. Organiser Harry Greenfield reports back here

World Forum on Access to land, Spain
Terre de liens joined 300 representatives from all over the world at the World Forum on Access to land in Valencia, last week. Discussion covered peasant agriculture, the Voluntary Guidelines on Land Tenure, creating national platforms of access to land and more. We’ll be reporting back once we have digested the discussions! Find links to the forum here.

If you are on Instagram why not check out our #accesstoland gallery?
Copyright © 2016 Soil Association (on behalf of the Access to land network), All rights reserved.

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