On the 27-28th November 2014, Polish Green Network, in the framework of the ClimATE Change project, held a training seminar in Warsaw titled "Climate for farmers - Cooperation to the benefit of farmers and climate".
The seminar was organized in partnership with Transformation Foundation and Polish Ecological Club. Its main goal was raising theoretical and practical knowledge of the participants on the issues of sustainable agriculture and the ways of supporting, both locally and globally, this model of food production as it is most climate-, environment- and people-friendly. Among the seminar participants were farmers, consumers, food producers and distributors as well as representatives of organizations working for the development of sustainable agriculture and responsible consumption in Poland.
One of the presenters was Łukasz Nowacki from Transformation Foundation, who gave lecture about the natural methods of increasing productivity of agriculture and reducing its negative impact on the environment, which can be implemented especially on farms but also on smaller scale in gardens or green urban areas. A representative of Poland's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development explained to the seminar participants the main directions of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy of the EU. Afterwards, Mieczysław Babalski, one of the pioneers of the organic farming in Poland, presented the advantages of building cooperation and longterm relations between farmers as well as farmers and consumers.
Three different types of initiatives started by consumers who want to buy food directly from farmers were presented by Wojciech Mejor. Community supported agriculture, food cooperatives and the first shop in Poland run by a food cooperative are all examples of activities based on cooperation and working together, which are beneficial to both consumers and farmers. The issue of cooperation within bigger networks of organizations - including international ones - was explained by Maria Staniszewska from Polish Ecological Club. The seminar ended with a very interesting panel discussion with the participation of various experts, farmers and activists.
The seminar showed clearly that activities supporting sustainable agriculture both locally and globally are on the rise around the world and despite the fact that industrial agriculture model still has a dominant position, voices demanding radical changes are increasingly heard. During the seminar the participants created a first draft of the charter which is supposed to present problems and challenges faced by farmers and consumers. The charter is also meant to be an attempt to find effective tools to support the development of sustainable agriculture in Poland.