Food Otherwise Conference – February 21, 22 2014, Wageningen

Food Otherwise Conference: Towards fair and sustainable food and agriculture systems
February 21, 22 2014 Wageningen.

More and more farmers, consumers, scientists and civil society organisations are working towards sustainable and fair ways of producing food. They are forging new relationships between farmers and consumers. They offer creative, dynamic and diverse alternatives to large-scale, anonymous and industrialised food production and the increasing influence of transnational corporations. Do you want to learn, experience, think along and discuss new and feasible food and agriculture systems with others? Would you like to build bridges and help to achieve a more sustainable and fair food and agriculture system? Do you want to get to know sustainable (young) farmers? Become inspired by innovative examples from the Netherlands, Flanders and abroad? Then come to our two day conference in Wageningen on 21 and 22 February 2014!

Keynote speakers Olivier de Schutter, UN rapporteur on the right to food • Pablo Tittonell, professor Farming Systems Ecology Wageningen University • Hanny van Geel, farmer and board member of La Via Campesina Europe • Vandana Shiva, Indian scientist and activist (tbc).

For whom? Farmers, consumers, scientists, beekeepers, students, artists, professionals in the food and agro sectors, policymakers, politicians and journalists. Translation English-Dutch provided in the plenary sessions. Some workshops will be in English. Workshops and discussions around several themes, such as: • Local food networks: from producer to consumer • The power of large agricultural corporations • Agro-ecology • Fair incomes for farmers • Urban agriculture • Permaculture / food forests • Fair trade and Agricultural policies • Land rights • Seeds and biodiversity • Soil and closed-loop agriculture

Excursion Biodiversity in Brabant

By Elisa de Lijster

After I completed my MSc-thesis for International Development Studies (see earlier post in Dutch) I’m now working at the Centre for Agriculture and Environment (Centrum for Landbouw en Milieu or CLM) on my second MSc thesis project about the current turmoil in Dutch Nature Policy.

I will explore and hopefully find new and creative ways of managing and realizing nature in combination with agricultural and other – out of the box – practices. For this, I will undertake interviews with actors from State Forestry Service, Agricultural Environmental Cooperatives, Nature Organisations, Farmers’ Union and Governmental Administrators. Apart from the interviews, I will go as participant observer to symposia and meetings organised by several nature organisations which have the aim to discuss the future course of nature policy in the Netherlands.

CLM under the header of the Netherlands Rural Network (Netwerk Platteland) is also organising a field excursion focusing on nature & biodiversity and cooperation between different parties in the Province of Brabant (see the announcement, in Dutch, and the site biodiversiteit in Brabant). We will visit several sites and projects such as the Association of Dune Farmers, the Nature Museum, the project Nature Gate and the project Biodiverse Farm Yards.

The purpose is to exchange knowledge and learn from each others’ experiences and bottle necks. Of course, from an academic and scientific perspective, such a day is an excellent opportunity for participant observation: to meet relevant actors and in my case to see how they perceive the changes in Nature Policy which could affect their livelihoods and planning projects. If you have an interest, see the announcement. 

Elisa de Lijster (

MSc International Development &  MSc Forest and Nature Conservation