BOND’s Final Webinar on “Green Recovery and Collective Action”

The final BOND webinar on Green Recovery and Collective Action was successfully held on Monday 12th October 2020. 6 farmers from Greece, Croatia, Poland and Czech Republic who had taken part in BOND project activities shared their stories and experiences on what collective action and green recovery means for them.

Angela Hilmi (from Coventry University) introduced the webinar by reminding the various activities carried out during BOND Project and how participants throughout the project were enabled to further their understanding and practicing of the concepts of bonding within groups, bridging between groups and linking with other organisations. She highlighted that the activities resulted in the creation of fruitful and promising alliances with a common vision to build strong, dynamic and effective organisations that have a voice and a place in policy design.

Jyoti Fernandez (from Landworkers’ Alliance) presented the topic and reminded us of the important task we are entrusted with in face of the possible extinction of the planet. It is indeed urgent and necessary to act collectively to actively regenerate our planet and restore the earth.

Marcin who raises pasture-fed cattle in Poland started an association in December 2018 along with 15 other farmers. They are currently trying to build their own quality system for pasture-fed cattle for Poland. He spoke about the advantages of being an association, about having equal member rights and about collective ownership and the powerful energy that comes with associating with others.

Bruna and Nikolina are in the process of starting a Regenerative Agriculture Hub in Croatia, they underlined the importance of having a clear mutual vision for a cooperative to be successful.

Martin and Jana run a vegetable horse-powered farm in Czech Republic, they explained how going from producing cheese to running a vegetable farm as a CSA helped them save time and enhance their connection with customers and other groups of producers.

Lilian and Nikos run The Chilli Factor in Thessaloniki, Greece. They chose to grow microgreens and edible flowers when they realised there weren’t any that were not imported at the market. With time and constant reading and learning, they associated with local restaurants. In the current Covid-19 crisis Lilian underlined the need to take better care of our environment and work together to build resilience.

Jyoti highlighted that farmers are teachers and that they are constantly encouraging more people towards positive change, be it inspiring customers to help them find different ways to eat or teaching new farmers. Guilherme Brady (from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) added that farmers bring a powerful vision for the world future, they have the capacity to be innovative throughout their activities, whether it is in their collective organisation, in the creation of viable markets or in the sharing of knowledge.

While green recovery is one of the main challenges our society faces, the speakers at the webinar have brought very concrete examples on how to restore ecosystems, preserve our biodiversity and bring about sustainable production systems.

Conclusive comments from the 6 speakers brought to light a mutual goal to spread regenerative methods more widely to change the world to a better place for future generations. The accent was put on the necessity to help each other among farmers by sharing knowledge and techniques so that the newest generations of farmers can also access sustainable methods of farming that the agribusiness industry does not consider.

Click here to read the participants’ profiles and watch the recording of the webinar here: