N-EXTLAW Workshop – Voedsel Anders Conference 2022


On the 10th and 11th June, Voedsel Anders hosted their third Conference in Wageningen entitled ‘Together Towards a Democratic Food System’. We were delighted to take part in the conference and hosted a workshop on ‘Translating visions for sustainable food production into legal action’.

Continue reading below to learn more about Voedsel Anders, the Conference and our workshop.

Founded in 2012 to strengthen the movement for a different system of food and agriculture in the Netherlands and Flanders, Voedsel Anders is a network of over 2,500 citizens, including farmers, fishermen, students, researchers and activists. The network is premised upon several core concepts, namely ‘fair prices for the producer, healthy and tasty food, collaboration with nature, limiting the power and influence of the large agrochemical companies, short chains, fair trade, access to land and control of the food producer and citizen.’ Many organisations have already signed their Manifesto, which outlines what a ‘truly just and sustainable food and farming system’ should look like and how this can be achieved.

On 10th and 11th June, around 400 members gathered in Wageningen for the third VA Conference ‘Together towards a democratic food system’ . There were 50 different workshops on various topics, including ‘what food sovereignty looks like in practice, how we can show solidarity with the global South and what is needed for a fair and sustainable trade and agriculture policy.’ You can view the entire programme and read more about the conference here.

Our workshop took place on Saturday 11th June and was on ‘Translating visions for sustainable food production into legal action‘. It was a very productive and inspiring session with many interesting insights. It was also wonderful to meet with different members of the network, so many thanks to Voedsel Anders for having us! You can read the abstract outlining the content of our workshop below.

ABSTRACT: Translating visions for sustainable food production into legal action’

Many food initiatives are working to implement new progressive visions of food production and consumption, with non-extractive, generative relationships between land, nature, labour, humans and non-humans. However, different laws and regulation are currently blocking the realisation of these progressive socio-ecological visions. Some are blocking access to land, some pose difficulties to adopt horizontal organisational structures, or simply limit access to finance to make such ideas reality. N-EXTLAW is working on an action plan and policy proposals in order to advocate at EU and national level (the Netherlands) for legal changes that could hopefully offset current obstacles to sustainable food production. The workshop will serve to discuss how to translate the current progressive visions for sustainable food production and consumption into law and regulation that will not block but enable such progressive food initiatives to thrive.

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