Thursday 16th October 2008
Food and Climate Action
16th October 2008
Following a series of excellent workshops on Food and Climate Action, a coordinated National Day of Local Group Action has been called on or around October 16th, United Nations World Food Day, the theme of which, this year, is "World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy". See http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/en|
For some this would be an opportunity to revisit the Food and Climate Action day held on Tuesday 3rd June 2008
Others aim to focus on the food security issues involved in the rush to agrofuels, by campaigning around the biofuel industry conference at Newark on Wednesday/Thursday 15/16th October.
On June 3rd Climate Action, (the Climate Camp people), called for a day of action that bites .... an opportunity to highlight the message the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. A vegan diet can save an equivalent of 1.5 tonnes CO2 per person every year. (See reports on that day at http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=1242)
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Ideas about actions against national targets
- take rubbish back to Tesco's (questions about whether this would be
done by small groups on an ad hoc basis or as a co-ordinated day of
action? questions about whether the "rubbish" was the packaging or the
actual food bought / skipped, suggestion of explaining by fly posting
- supermarket 'trolley' actions - lots of empty trolleys to block up
the aisles, filling up trolleys with climate unfriendly items, and
then loudly abandoning them at the check out
- supermarket - stickers on targeted products
- distribution centres for supermarket / air freight terminal -
followed up with information at sales points
- actions against Sainsbury's GM milk, blockades etc
- engaging with big wholefood companies / co-operatives, to
investigate where and how they are sourcing their ingredients
- GM targets - Bayer
Information / outreach / public awareness ideas
- display in library with a directory of local food sources,
alternatives to mass agriculture
- tours of agricultural facilities / allotments,
- giving away free food / seeds / recipes,
- running free cooking / gardening / wild food lessons
- using existing Green Party / Women's Institute events / food fayres
etc to promote vegan / organic / local foods - suggestion that
initially at least this should be non-confrontational - simply
offering to contribute a stall
- food stalls in a place that would attract the non-converted -
council housing estates - draw of free food (mention particularly of
Nottingham food fayre which had big success in bringing in non-vegans
- research / keep eyes on national legislation / actions of companies
Giving people info on
-links between agrofuels and rising food costs
-hidden costs - subsidies of meat industry etc
-cheap sources of good food
Using schools for getting information out
- communication with school caterers
- taking children to farms / allotments
- starting up allotments in schools
- question the legislation guiding school meals - guidelines for
health (including that dairy must be included) - but no guidelines on
the other impacts of where schools are getting supplies from)
- promoting gap years in UK WWOOF farms / communities or equivalent
Writing stories for the local press - example of one local paper which
had stories of how the average family of 4 throws away £15 worth of
food each week)
Concerns about poverty among UK farmers - can direct links be made
with farmers as part of more sustainable system
Ideas for action methods / tactics
- international co-ordination / solidarity
- use of existing networks - Earth First!,GM
- blockading agro-industrial targets
- theatre (in the street? in supermarkets? in school?)
- squat in spring time of an agricultural target - possibly 1-2 weeks
long, idea of being a way of having a national focus
co-ordination with Climate Camp (if it continues in somewhere near its
current form) to select a food-related target for action
reclaiming land for growing own food
Ideas about when to focus action
- Christmas as a focus time
- Possibly tie in the Buy Nothing Day (Nov 30th) or at least following
same reasoning about timing
- October 16th is UN World Food Day and was suggested as a day of
action (possibly focusing on the UN releasing the information from its
report Livestock: the Long Shadow. Also historically Oct'16th been a
day when people have focused action on McDonalds.
- Oct 16th also conicides with a biofuels conference happening in
Newark (trade fair for producers of agrofuels)
Questions that emerged
- are local actions easier to organise, lighter on transport
emissions, a more effective way of communicating a message?
- would a national action give an opportunity to include people who
feel isolated in their local area?
- but how would a 'national' target be selected?
- Should days be focussed on 'climate action' as well as food, or kept
more general? Agreed that 'climate' was wide enough an issue to give
everyone an angle in, and that 'food' was such an important, though
neglected, climate issue that the connection needs making.
Agreed Days of Food and Climate Action
Thursday October 16th - UN World Food Day, or in the period before or after.
- to include 'Food Not Fuel' action at Bio-Fuels Conference in Newark
on 15th/16th Oct.
- Oct 16th is traditional date for Global Action Against McDonalds and
other Junk Food Corporations.
- could include London action to tie in with Anarchist Book Fair, on Sat 18th
- gather support, contacts and local networking to give advance notice
of next day of action on November 29th.
Saturday November 29th - in support of Nov'30th No Shopping Day, or in
lead up to xmas
- encourage people to not shop for xmas food; share local produce,
give samples of vegan xmas foods, give out recipes and details of
- participate with other green fairs, christmas without cruelty events
etc. Offer practical info and support to organisers and run a stall
with food/climate info
Nottingham skill share September 13th - brief introduction to food
based campaigning (http://www.veggies.org.uk/
Resources available from June 3rd Day of Action:
For more information and resources connected to the day itself and
then ongoing campaign surrounding food and climate change email
United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation report: Livestock's Long Shadow: http://www.veggies.org.uk/
Working Opportunities on Organic Farms: http://www.lowimpact.org/
Bio-Fuels Watch: http://www.biofuelwatch.org.
Newark Agrifuels Action Info: http://www.veggies.org.uk/
A Day of Climate Action that Bites
Our unsustainable appetites are already causing climate change. We urgently need to change our way of life to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the next ten years. It's time to switch to plant-based, organic, seasonal and locally produced food.
There is nothing more fundamental than food! Climate action starts on your dinner plate, at the supermarket, on your allotment and in your back yard, at the food processing and distribution centres, down on the farm, in your high street, at the airport and at the lorry park.
The UN Conference on World Food Security and Climate Change runs from 3rd to 5th June. Whatever your tastes, there's something for everyone on this action menu! Local food markets, free food stalls, workshops and film showings, street theatre, info stalls, protests and direct action, cooking demonstrations, talks, allotment shows. Get creative and get involved!
Local organic food, growing your own, veganism, permaculture, food security, humanitarian issues, transport campaigning, agrofuels, GM food ... make the links on climate change ... take action on the 3rd of June toward a low-carbon diet!
Why climate action on food?
Climate chaos is one of the biggest threats we're facing. Climate chaos will not only affect humanity, but is already leading to the extinction of species and the collapse of ecosystems all around the world. To stop runaway climate change we have to drastically reduce our greenhouse emission within the next ten years.
The kind of food we eat contributes up to a third of our greenhouse emissions. The livestock sector alone generates 18% of all greenhouse gases. Changing your diet is one of the easiest ways to cut emissions yet it's something not many people talk about. To avoid the devastating effects of climate chaos we can't continue eating food imported from the other side of the world, nor base our diet on animal products.
Take action on or around 16th October and help highlight the role of food and the food industry in climate chaos.
Whether you're into local food, permaculture, animal rights, allotment growing, humanitarian issues, food politics, transport campaigning - join the dots on climate change.
Organise free vegan food events, stalls in your town, banner drops, demos outside supermarkets, blockades of unsustainable food suppliers, street theatre think creatively and get involved! And if you can't do something on the day itself, promote it by doing something on the Saturday before it.
The June 3rd Day of Action was called by the Network for Climate Action, a network of autonomous groups taking action against the root causes of climate chaos. It coincided with the UN Conference on World Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy from 3rd to 5th June 2008.
Meet Daisy the cow – global climate’s enemy number oneWhen BBC TV Newsnight reporter Justin Rowlatt ('Ethical Man') started to investigate the impact of food on the environment he thought he would find himself fretting over food miles. In fact transport is a tiny component of agriculture’s worldwide contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
No, the main culprit is out there in the fields, chewing her cud. It turns out that livestock – predominantly cattle – are responsible for an astonishing proportion of global warming gases - 18 per cent of the total, to be precise.
Read more details of the global livestock industry's emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide at the Newsnight Blog or view the Newsnight report at Veggies events.
Public Transport details may be available from http://www.traveline.org.uk/
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