EU Farmers to Set the Record Straight on Protests

NFFCPress Room

Lisa Griffith
National Outreach and Communications Coordinator
(773) 319 5838


Washington, DC – June 18, 2024 – Dramatic photos of public manure dumps and burning tires illustrate European farmers in distress, but the causes driving the continent’s food producers to the streets are not clear.  Some claim that flawed free trade policies have driven farmers to extreme activities, while others lay blame at over-regulation.  

In celebration of World Localization Day (June 21), the National  Family Farm Coalition will host a webinar on June 27, 11:00AM-12:30PM EDT, honoring these farmers’ dedication to improved economic and ecological systems that support their local communities. Raj Patel, author and professor at the University of Texas-Austin, will moderate a panel of European farmers who will describe the real forces that drove them to protest in the streets, and the actions needed worldwide to achieve fair prices for the people who provide food for their families and communities.

As in the United States, family-scale farmers in Europe are at great risk. In France, there were 2.5 million farmers in 1955, but only 496,00 remaining in 2023 — a loss of roughly 80%. Poland has lost 13% of its farms since 2010, while 37% of the farms throughout Europe went out of business between 2005 and 2020.

Webinar panelists include: 

Florent Sebban (La ferme Sapousse
Florent is an organic farmer near Paris. He and partner, Sylvie, founded their farm, La ferme Sapousse 12 years ago on town-owned land. They produce vegetables, fruits, herbs and honey. Everything they produce is sold through a French-style CSA, known as AMAP (Association for the Maintenance of Peasant Agriculture). Florent is the spokesperson of the French CSA movement, Miramap (Inter-Regional Movement of AMAP). 

Javier Sánchez Anso
Javier Sanchez is an organic dry land farmer growing wheat, barley, peas and vetches in Spain, along with a small orchard. He is an active participant of the Union of Farmers and Ranchers in the region of Aragón (UAGA) which is part of the Coordination of Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Organizations (COAG). Javier is also active within European Coordination Via Campesina as a member of the International Coordinating Committee of La Via Campesina (LVC) and of the LVC working group on public policies related to the decade of family farming.

Mathieu Courgeau
Mathieu Courgeau is a dairy farmer in the west of France. He has been involved in the French farmers union, Conféderation paysanne, for 10 years, particularly on the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform. He is also co-president of Collectif Nourrir, a French collective of civil society and farmers organizations aimed at implementing fair, democratic and ecological agricultural and food policies. 

The webinar will be held Thursday, June 27, 2024, 11:00 AM EDT, and will include French, Spanish and English translation. It will be recorded for future distribution, but food sovereignty advocates, educators, students and social justice activists may enjoy the opportunity to ask questions directly of the panelists. The registration form is linked here.