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Blog: Wise eldermen seek young revolutionaries

Blog: Wise eldermen seek young revolutionaries

The average visitor of the Forum for Agriculture 2012 had two distinctive characteristics; they were grey and they were men. After listening to all the policymakers, politicians and CEO’s, one thing became very clear: Brussels needs young people with revolutionary minds. It is time to move the food revolution to Brussels. By Melissa Marijnen

On the 27th of March I’ve visited the Forum for Agriculture in Brussels. An annual event where policymakers, European and national politicians, scientists and CEO’s were invited to discuss the current state of agriculture. The last and shortest session of the forum was for the youth and their ideas on the future of agriculture. My tweet at that moment underlines the overall lack of interest in those new young ideas.

 

Twitter bericht

Retweeted by Herman Snijders, policy advisor of the Dutch Ministery of Agriculture, also grey, and beamed on the big screen on the stage.

One of the young guests, Louise Knops (the Greens), rightly stated that the coming reforms of the CAP probably won’t change the status-quo. Yes there will be some hints of sustainability, but overall the main target is to maintain the business as it is now. What strengthened her point was that most of the politicians and CEO’s at the Forum for Agriculture still proposed ‘intensification’ as a solution. As if we were not only back in the fifties, during the start of the CAP, trying to find a solution for hunger, but also as if the problems of overproduction during the seventies and eighties were completely forgotten.

Yes there is a growing world population and a growing demand for food, however the European Union does not have to feed the rest of the world. There are other parts in the world where food grows. What we do need are new ways of thinking about solutions. Stop thinking in growth and globalization, and start thinking in ‘closed circles’ and regionalization.

 "As a youngster if you are not revolutionairy you have no heart, but as an eldermen, if you are still revolutionary you have no brain”, spoke (from 2:00) the chairman Franz Fischler of the FFA ’12 and former EU Agriculture Commissioner, during the session on youth. That’s why the ‘eldermen’ in Brussels need young people to remind them of the young ‘revolutionary’ inside them. Young people have great ambitions, and often see new solutions, by looking beyond traditional patterns. The EU should not only be more transparent towards their citizens, they should also give young people a platform to advice the decisionmaking ‘eldermen’.

I am confident that we as young people can stay as revolutionary as we are now, and we will see this food revolution come to complete reality. 

By Melissa Marijnen, Project Officer 'cap2013: food for change' campaign for the Youth Food Movement



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