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A 2012 FS Gathering with a “Salone del Gusto ” taste!
This year's European Rural Sustainabiliy Gathering and General Assembly took place in parallel to Terra Madre /Salone del Gusto  (both Slow Food events) in Torino (Italy) on October 25-27th. The event was extremely rich in activities.  20 FS members, including new ones, coming from 11 European countries, met and discussed. We learned about participants' activities and their link to rural territories and FS work. 
As part of our Capacity Building Programme a training on mobile video messages was offered. To learn more about this fascinating tool everybody can easily practise in his/ her place please visit our website in order to download the manual!
We discussed the future main strands for the
FS workprogramme 2013-2014. Civic engagement, the implementation of the new Rural Development Plans or the need to integrate youth crystallised as important topics to deal with. We were motivated to take responsibility for the tasks facing us in the future and to work together on our common vision for a more sustainable rural Europe.
ARC, Slow Food and Forum Synergies were organizing the Panel on Civil society, CAP and local initiatives at Terra Madre on Friday 26th. The chances for a paradigm shift in agriculture within the CAP reform were in the focus of discussions. The impressing coalition of civil society organizations, represented by ARC2020 has come up with concrete proposals and the ARC campaign of the "Good Food March" demonstrates in a unique way the visions of Europe's civil society.
The Terra Madre / Salone del Gusto event itself was overwhelming! It is difficult to give a complete vision in a few words. It was a place to taste and discover local traditional food and products from all over the world, a place to exchange with local communities, farmers, fishermen... The highly diverse these initiatives are is fascinating. What unites them all:  the promotion of their natural resources, their heritage and their place - where tradition and innovation, memory and youth, education and pleasure, biodiversity and cooks can be linked. See photos on our photogallery

Farmers Ecology Europe gathering: a focus on local ecological knowledge valorization and transmission.
In 2009, Geyser (France), Mas de Noguera (Spain) and Civitas Foundation (Romania) started a project in the frame of Farmers Ecology in order to improve the interest on local ecological knowledge in Europe. Based on that French, Spanish, Romanian and Hungarian local groups’ activities, this 3rd gathering was organized on October 18th-20th, 2012 in Spain. A field visit to Valencia’s “Huerta” - traditional irrigated surrounding the city introduced the singularities of the vegetable garden management, the landscape evolution and ecological knowledge linked to them. During the workshop concrete examples were presented on the valorization of local ecological knowledge (economical one focusing on market experience, environmental one to help maintaining nature protected areas or honorific one related to culture and heritage). One of the remarks was also that empirical knowledge generation and transmission should be included in agricultural training (curricula) but it implies a reflection on the teacher role and teaching methods (facilitator of information more than teacher, promote peer to peer exchange). Proposals were also exchanged for a better integration of local ecological knowledge into public policies. A digital publication will compile these initiatives together with other ones that are invited to share their work. Already engaged partners will continue with local work on ecological knowledge and are seeking for the best ways of following transnational cooperation on European level. We will keep you informed. Download the report (in Spanish) and visit our photogallery.

1st European Herb Gathering.
From 4-7 October 2012 20 participants from 10 different countries were working together for 2 ½ days in the Lesachtal Valley. Specialists and practitioners from local up to EU level were discussing the framework of working with herbs focusing especially on threats, constraints and possible ways of cooperation.
The title of the closing event and herbal exhibition “The World of Herbs - Highly demanded & strictly forbidden” reflects very well the area of conflict we are facing. Seeking for positive solutions in order to create benefit for consumers and producers will be our future challenge.
Download the report and visit our photogallery.

Land topic: Titus Bahner shares with us the document  "Land markets and new forms of farmland ownership in organic farming" (Land[frei]kauf - Bodenmarkt und neue Eigentumsformen im Ökologischen Landbau) presented in Brussels on  October 16th and in Berlin November 20th at a joint Demeter/ Slow Food event for parliamentarians. It was written on behalf of the International Bio-Dynamic Association with other colleagues and is accessible (in German) here.

 Learn more about the actual ARC campaign "Good Food Farming"! Visit and get involved!
The photo messages are available now as a newspaper. You can order it at:

Calendar of events: The new calendar of events related to rural sustainable development is online!

Success stories : Britta Rolle shares her experience on German eco-housing work. Other videos are available here.

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