Oct 9, 2021

Europe & beyond: No one owns #nature

David - WeMove Europe <info@wemove.eu> wrote:
Date: Thu, Oct 7, 2021 at 5:48 AM
Subject: No one owns nature

Agricultural giants could change the future of our food forever. They are fencing off our natural world for their own profit by claiming ownership of dozens of crops – like the barley used to make beer. All because a few loopholes in European law are ripe for exploitation. [1]

Today, access to seeds means any farmer can grow the food we need. But if these plans go ahead, agricultural giants will open the flood gates to stealing away something no one should own – our natural world. They'll control who can grow and the costs – destroying the futures of thousands of family farmers. [2]

If this isn't on the agenda when officials meet in two weeks, our chance to close these dangerous loopholes could pass by. But the good news is: we knew this would happen and we're prepared to act. To do that, we'll have to make a big splash.

So, imagine this. Our partners deliver crops of barley they've grown across European farms this year to the meeting – showing how many depend on the seeds. It causes a stir in the meeting as the officials discuss the stunt. Then, a video explaining the growth and importance of these seeds goes online. Adverts ensure it features all over social media.

We can dominate workplace conversations for weeks. The officials won't be able to avoid it, resolving loopholes will be back on the agenda.

How about itare you in? If we are going to ensure these loopholes are closed, we need the resources to act fast.

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When in May 2020 the European Patent Office accepted that conventionally-bred plants are not for anyone to own, it was a big step forward. [3] But the agricultural giants haven't given up the fight to take control of our food.

Back then, we won because we showed the true scale of opposition, working with our partners at No Patents on Seeds. Now, as the danger of loopholes has flown under the radar, they're asking for our help in launching it onto the agenda.

As a small dedicated group, they know they can't meet this moment alone. Luckily, we are a community of over a million people who never shy away from meeting moments like this head-on.

We've worked out the costs, and need €16,148 to pull this off. With that money we can fund:

  1. Hiring a videographer to capture the delivery stunt in person as well as interview those affected.
  2. Producing a short video with the footage and advertising it all over the internet in these weeks, connecting with as many employees as possible at the office with the power to make this decision.
  3. Reaching out to top European media outlets to secure coverage on the issue and increase the voices pressuring decision-makers.

There's no doubt about it, the agricultural giants have deep pockets. You can bet they'll be pouring those resources into this fight. But, if we move together we can make great things happen. If every one of us who reads this right now gives just a little, we could match them blow for blow.

So, if you think that nature shouldn't be for anyone to own, will you chip in now to get this plan off the ground?

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Thanks for being part of this,
David (London), Annemarie (Berlin), Thomas (Brussels) and the WeMove Europe team


[1] https://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/publications/report2021
[2] If granted ownership over our seeds, agricultural giants will go to any length to squeeze out profit from family farms. We've seen it happen already in the United States: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/12/monsanto-sues-farmers-seed-patents
[3] https://www.epo.org/law-practice/case-law-appeals/communications/2020/20200514.html


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