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  • Foto van schrijverShana Hepping

Common Agricultural Policy

Bijgewerkt op: 2 aug. 2022

For a long time, I'm intrigued by the agri-food sector. I have been involved in various activities surrounding agri-food. Now, I want to contribute a better food system in another way.

Picture by Jaap van den Biesen (@jaapvdbiesen)

Last year I wrote my thesis on the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). I deeply dove into the European agri-food system at the highest level possible: An international regulation. For that thesis, a possible publication is on its way! In the meantime, I'm going to explore other facets of the agri-food sector.

The CAP is interesting at the policy level, but in reality it's way too abstract. Therefore, I believe that the real magic of agriculture lies at farms. Today, no week goes by or ‘farmers’ are in the news. In addition, there is a nitrogen crisis, increasing periods of drought, and COVID exposed the vulnerability of the European food system. All these things make agri-food a contentious sector. I believe there is a lot to gain by open conversation and listening to each other.

Before I start working in agri-food policy development, I think it's important to increase my knowledge ‘on the ground’. I want to stand with my feet in the earth and see what it produces. I want to see how farmers experience the crises, droughts and the development of a resilient food system.

I have worked with farmers before. Previously, I presided over a regional Slow Food Youth Network committee. We organised activities that connected food producers to food consumers to raise awareness for a good, clean and fair food system. Besides, I harvested pumpkins with De Seizoensarbeiders. And in de summer of 2021 I developed professional skills during the Flevo Campus Summer School.

Now I'm taking the opportunity to meet farmers all over Europe, using platforms like WWOOF. The first stops will be in Spain, then we'll go into the rest of Europe. I hope to explore the tasks they face, the produce they harvest, but also the solutions that they offer the system. In this blog I will keep you up to date about my experiences!

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