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The future of agriculture deserves better than Syngenta

More than fifty Belgian, European and international organisations are hosting an action at noon today to denounce the 10th Forum for the Future of Agriculture, a large lobbying event organised by the world’s biggest pesticides producer Syngenta and the EU lobby group of large landowners, the European Landowners’ Organisation.

 The farmers’ unions, civil society organisations and citizens organising the action oppose the false solutions advertised by agribusiness multinationals and highlight that sustainable farming is only possible once the destruction of soil, nature and rural communities has been stopped. Yet the economic success of the FFA organisers over the past decades has been built on this very destruction.

 During the FFA, participating businesses and corporate lobby groups are presenting false solutions to today’s environmental and food production challenges, with a model of agriculture that depends heavily on pesticides and fossil fuels, and is automated, standardised and industrial by design. Aside from the catastrophic impacts of these agribusiness methods on biodiversity, human health and soil, and thereby the future potential for food production, this vision of agriculture aggravates the dependency and debt of farmers and is forcing ever more of them out of business.

 A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) comes to the same conclusion and highlights the problematic approach taken by agrochemical companies like Syngenta. It also exposes the myth maintained by FFA organisers that pesticides would be essential to bolster the food security of an ever-growing global population.

 According to the UN experts, agroecology on the contrary is a solution which can successfully meet today’s environmental and food challenges without putting the environment and human health on the line. The FAO praises agroecology as a model that replaces “chemical inputs with ecological processes” and promotes agricultural practices that “stimulate beneficial biological interactions between different plants and species to build long-term fertility and soil health”.

 Corporate Europe Observatory’s campaigner Martin Pigeon said:

 “We are standing in solidarity with farmers and citizens who are mobilising against the disastrous consequences of the grip that Big Agribusiness has on EU policy-making. Politicians in the EU and worldwide must stop subsidising the destructive methods of agribusiness and champion the agroecological transition of the sector. It is the only way to boost food security and sustainability in the long term.”

Notes to editors:

  • The call and list of all signatories can be found here.
  • The action will take place at 12.30pm today at Mont des Arts near Brussels central station, featuring topical addresses, a farmers’ buffet and a symbolic action against the Big Agribusiness vision for the future of agriculture.
  • The UN Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food promoting agroecology can be accessed here.

Contact: 

Martin Pigeon, Corporate Europe Observatory, +32 484 671 909

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