‘Platform Earth-Farmer-Consumer’ consists of two sectoral farmers’ unions that were founded in the early nineties because they were not too happy with the all-in-one mainstream union (LTO): the NAV (Dutch Arable Farmers’ Union) and the NMV (Dutch Dairy Farmers’ Union). They were joined by the working group ‘Farmers and Income’, and by ‘ X minus Y Solidarity Group’ and the ‘Boerengroep Wageningen’, a students group at Wageningen University, and by Afrika-Europa Netwerk, (AEN), a development organisation. The political parties SP and GroenLinks supported the ABC platform. The Platform started in 2000 and membership changed slightly in the course of the years: now it consists of NAV, NMV, Boerengroep Wageningen, Biodynamische Vereniging, VBBM (Vereniging tot Behoud van Boer en Milieu, an organisation striving for better soils) and the Toekomstboeren (innovative farmers, in the sense of agro-ecological farming) and WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom)
Our objective is a different Dutch and European and international agricultural policy. In countries in and/or outside Europe the current EU and WTO agricultural policy, characterised by liberalisation (free trade), leads to overproduction and to dumping and problems with food security, too low prices for products from small and middle-sized farms, degradation of nature and the environment and less animal welfare, and dubious food quality.
There are alternatives for this policy. We are lobbying for these alternative policies within the Netherlands, but also together with platforms in other countries see www.nyelenieurope.net. See this website for info about the Forum for food and agriculture held in August 2011 in Krems, Austria (400 participants form 34 countries) and the one held in Cluj, Roumania in 2017. See also the declaration drawn up in August 2011 and the info about ‘foodsovCAP ‘(working group for food sovereinghty and another CAP) . In 2012 we worked together with other European groups on the Good Food March, see www.goodfoodmarch.eu.
In the Netherlands we cooperate in lobbying and on Food sovereignty issues with different organisations such as Friends of the Earth Netherlands, Greenpeace, development organisation ICCO,and others. On 8 October 2010 we organised a day where 45 people form 25 organisations discussed food and agriculture, which yielded the ‘declaration of Utrecht; agriculture 2013’. Core words: regionalisation, food sovereignty, market regulation and healthy soils.
In 2014 and 2016 we co-organised the ‘Voedsel Anders’ (Food Otherwise) conferences, and in 2018 the ‘Voedsel Anders Caravane’, and a third conference in April 2020. See the website www.voedselanders.nl (also in English)
Now (2020) we are mobilising for another CAP, and against CETA and other free trade deals, mainly in our own country with new groups that have joined our struggle, such als the trade unions . On 1 October 2019 Claude Girod from Conféderation Paysanne (France) and Rik de Cooninck (Belgium) joined us in our talks with parliamentarians in the Hague. We also had a letter of support from the Council of the Canadians.
We are also cooperating with new Dutch groups on the climate challenges for agriculture, which have led to major protests but hardly any constructive steps forward as yet.