Does Catalonia give up food sovereignty?

The demands of the peasants and farmers, which are part of a European-wide unrest, present the country with a colossal challenge. The one to decide if Catalonia should be food sovereign or if it should renounce its own land. In 11Onze we have it clear: you don’t play with food.

 

Everyone knows that the primary sector is essential, but it seems that we sometimes forget it. That’s why Catalan farmers, like Europeans, are on a war footing. The demands are simple and could be summed up in one: have some respect for a sector that puts the plate on the table for Catalonia of the 8 million.

Excessive bureaucracy, economic suffocation and regulatory pressure are the battle horses of some farmers who see that the poor conditions in their sector discourage the possible generational change. Nowadays, the peasant is a romantic with a tractor. People who love the land and work for it even if they don’t earn a living. Complaints of having to sell below the cost of production are endemic, and for some time now the lack of protection of farmers against intermediaries, large chains and the importation of products from other countries, which very often do not meet the very demanding regulations that are asked of European farmers and ranchers.

 

The European greyness

Catalan food sovereignty is in question, in part, due to the European regulatory scourge. The EU, governed from the gray Brussels, pushes its convoluted regulations down. The bureaucratic labyrinth launches itself towards the immediately lower rung of the chain and goes down through the administrations until it falls on its face in front of peasants unable to manage this hellish list. The wisest people in the world, the ones who know how to create food, are asked to also be office workers and collect data and fill in endless forms so that they go up the chain again and satisfy the paperwork thirst of a Brussels bureaucrat.

In December 2022, the farmer and Junts deputy, Salvador Vergés, read in Parliament a list of the measures required of farmers. The clip has gone viral these days as a result of the protests and, if it weren’t for the fact that it deals with such a serious subject, it would make me laugh.

Drought and priorities

To all the usual problems of the peasantry, this year also added the drought that the whole country is experiencing. The farmers, by decision of the Catalan government, were among the first to receive the blows of the cuts in water consumption. While they had to attend, amazed, a summer tourism campaign without limitations. And they must continue to be surprised, even, seeing the greenery of the golf courses, observing the huge water leaks declared by the ACA and realizing that the water bottling companies are still extracting water from the rivers. Supermarkets are full of plastic bottles filled with water, even though producing plastic bottles pollutes and forces extra water consumption. All to market an essential good that others are denied. Is it normal, then, that the peasants wonder how long the joke will last?

Desolate sovereignty

All this leaves a discouraging picture: that of a country unable to establish and manage its basic priorities. If we are not able to guarantee food production and water, what do we aspire to be? For this reason, the farmers redouble their pressure, although they were already received by the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès. The president often uploads videos on his networks where he is seen cooking recipes. It’s a relaxed way to show off in front of the public, but where do the eggs come from that the Most Honourable uses to make the cake? Where do flour, butter, milk, meat, apples, or artichokes come from? The answer of an urban politician would be simple: from the supermarket.

At a time when it seems that Europe has turned its back on the primary sector to obsess over the war economy, looking at Russia, since 11Onze we want to put ourselves on the side of the peasantry, remembering, once again, the risk of a food crisis that we face.

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  1. DAVID PEDROSDAVID PEDROS says:
    DAVID

    La Sobirania Alimentària no és el q els pagesos estan reivindicant. J m’agradaria q també la reivindiquessin.
    Tanmateix crec q es fa servir aquest concepte una mica a la lleugera….

    • Toni MataToni Mata says:
      Toni

      És clar, David, per això el text no diu en cap moment que els pagesos reclamin la sobirania alimentària. Els pagesos demanen coses molt concretes per poder fer la seva feina i nosaltres (ciutadans, governs, empreses) hem d’entendre que aquestes reclamacions són, evidentment, justes perquè sobrevisqui l’únic sector que ens pot garantir la sobirania alimentària. Disculpa que no hàgim estat més explícits en el text, ens semblava que estava clar.

      2 months ago
  2. Joan Santacruz CarlúsJoan Santacruz Carlús says:
  3. Francesc Estafanell PujolFrancesc Estafanell Pujol says:
    Francesc de Borja

    Bon article, només puc estar-hi d’acord. Si aspirem a la sobirania cal defensar el valor del territori

    • Xavier Vinolas EscodaXavier Vinolas Escoda says:
      Xavier

      Tu ho has dit. És essencial tenir una visió global del valor del territori. Gràcies, Francesc

      2 months ago
  4. Carme MampelCarme Mampel says:
    Carme

    totalment d’acord. No només hauriem de defensar amb les ungles la nostra sobirania alimentaria sino que haurime de promocionar també el cultiu casolà, la permacultura urbana, etc.

    • Xavier Vinolas EscodaXavier Vinolas Escoda says:
      Xavier

      Precisament, aliments de temporada i de proximitat. Gràcies, Carme

      2 months ago

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