Good Food March

1. What is the Good Food Good Farming Campaign?


The EU's Common Agricultural Policy affects us all: from our environment and landscapes, to our cultural and culinary heritage, and our health and lifestyles. And of course, the food we eat.  However, to date, our interests have often been overlooked.

With the policy currently under reform, we decided enough was enough. It is time Europe's citizens were heard. The Good Food Good Farming campaign is giving citizens, farmers and young people the chance to deliver their demands for the future of food and farming directly to the EU institutions.

Set up by civil society organisations based in Brussels and beyond, representing diverse interests, the campaign is able to reach and engage a broad and dynamic audience, and build a strong, united and legitimate voice for civil society in the reform process.

2. How and when did the campaign begin?


In May 2012, 8 organisations came together to issue a joint Call for Action.  These organisations were ARC2020, European Milk Board, European Coordination Via Campesina, Friends of the Earth Europe, IFOAM EU Group, Meine Landwirtschaft, PAC2013 and Slow Food.


After the Call for Action was issued, over a 100 organisations came together to organise the first action of the campaign: The Good Food March 2012.

3. Why are we mobilising now?


a. There is a crisis in food and farming in Europe, and beyond.

Over the past 50 years, our taxes have been used to support industrialised food and farming system. This form of agriculture is threatening the existence of farmers in the global North and South. It leaves many people without access to on the one hand and mountains of food waste on the other. It destroys the environment because it relies on the overuse of chemical fertilisers, harmful pesticides and fossil fuels. Factory farms depend on imported soy for animal feed. They disregard animal welfare, aggravate climate change and lead to the abandonment of rural areas. This must stop.


b.  The EU’s biggest farming policy currently being reformed.

Every seven years the Common Agricultural Policy is being reformed. Right now, the new policy for 2014 - 2020 is being debated in Brussels. Since the EU Commission released the reform proposals in October 2011, the EU Parliament and national Agricultural Ministers have been continuously debating the ammendments and changes they want to see. We still have time to make our voices heard, but we must make sure we make a lot of noise!


c.  Significant change in decision-making process at EU level

For the first time (following the Treaty of Lisbon) the European Parliament will have a say in the final outcome of the reform of European agriculture policy, in addition to the usual European Council (agricultural ministers from national Governments). This gives civil society and European citizens a huge opportunity to influence the policy. We must ensure that our elected representatives are accountable to their decisions.

4. What changes is the Good Food Good Farming campaign calling for?


The Call for Action outlines 11 key demands. We want an agricultural policy that:

  • Delivers secure and stable cost covering prices for farmers and fair prices for consumers.
  • Values our natural, cultural and culinary heritage.
  • Supports real family farms; both young and old. We can’t lose anymore farmers!
  • Links subsidies directly to social, environment, and animal welfare criteria. Public money for public goods!
  • Takes us to a greener and more sustainable agriculture, and promotes agro-ecological farming methods.
  • Strengthens the social and economic development of rural communities.
  • Guarantees the cultivation of local protein feed crops, rather than imported soy.
  • Ensures greater equity between old and new EU Member States.
  • Moves us towards food sovereignty.
  • Assumes international responsibility and ensures that Europe and the global South become more self-sufficient.
  • Rejects food speculation and ends the export of agricultural products at a price below their production cost.

5. What was the Good Food March 2012?


The hugely successful Good Food March was the most significant event for the campaign in 2012.


It saw citizens, young people and farmers come together throughout August and September to call for a real reform of the CAP. Some set out on bike journeys to Brussels from Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Holland, Belgium and the UK; whilst others organised diverse and colourful events in countries such as Poland, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria and Spain. The aim was to raise awareness of the current CAP reform process, and enable citizens’ to send their demands for the future policy directly to decision makers in Brussels. Read more about all the journeys in the Good Food March 2012 Blog.


100s of citizens descended on Brussels on September 19th for the final day of the Good Food March. The day started with a gathering of civil society and marchers in Brussel’s Parc du Cinquantenaire. The group then marched through Brussels, accompanied by a Fanfare music band, making stops at the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the Committee of Regions.

The march ended in front of the European Parliament, where all participants and many more came together to take part in a brunch of good, healthy, local food and listen to testimonials from the Good Food Marchers from all over Europe, as well as significant civil society and political represenatives. 


It was supported by over 100 additional organisations from 20 countries. Click here for a full list.

6. What are the next steps for the Good Food Good Farming campaign?


The are many more actions being planned as part of the Good Food Good Farming campaign. Watch this space…

7. How can citizens get involved?


There are many ways to get involved:

8. Why should I send my photo?


The photos are citizen testimonials and a very powerful tool for telling those responsible for making decisions about the future of EU food and farming, what citizens want. Both individually and all together. They provide a snapshot of the thousands of people who want Europe’s food and farming policy to change for better. Showing the spirit of people from villages and cities; they embrace the diversity of our food culture and the vitality of our countryside. At the same time they send a strong and unified message to decision makers as they debate the future of the CAP for the next seven years.

During the grand finale of the Good Food March in Brussels on September 19th 2012, the initial collection of photos were presented to EU representatives including MEPs and Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Cioloş, in a book of citizen testimonials. The images were also beamed onto the EU Parliament the night, and shown during the Good Food Brunch and the conference held in the Parliament. Copies of the first book were gone in days - popular with citizens and politicians alike. On 24th September, during the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting, 27 copies were presented by Cioloş to the Agriculture Ministers from each Member State.

Since the Good Food March came to an end, further photos have been sent in. Ideas are currently been exchanged regarding how we can use them most effectively to demand change.