On the 28th and the 29th of April, Florence will be hosting the Seed, Food and Earth Democracy Festival, with Vandana Shiva for a new economy.
The Festival is one of the stages of the “Seed Caravan”, a traveling event to bring to the attention of Europe the voices of those who want their agriculture to be free of poisons and GMOs and in favour of local seeds and biodiversity.
Also read the Report: International Solidarity Caravan for Seeds 2014
Why Seed Freedom?
For many years now, Navdanya International has been working on the “Global Campaign for Seed Freedom”, aiming to increase both government and public awareness of the importance of defending local seed, a commons, and therefore free from patents and monopolies of multinational companies.
Why a Festival?
Sponsored by Seed Freedom, Navdanya International and la Fierucola, and with the Patronage of the Regione Toscana, this event is open to all associations and institutions working on seed, food and for the promotion of Earth Democracy. The programme has been thought out keeping everyone in mind, from children to producers. Already, more than 20 associations have signed up.
- On the 26th of April, in Mesochori, Paranestiou, Greece, The “Peliti” community will be celebrating a Day of Exchange of local seed varieties.
- The Caravan will start in Greece and will be in Florence on the 28th and 29th of April,
- On the 30th of April, the Caravan will be in Genoa with Terra Onlus! and then move on to France.
- In Le Mas d’Azil, France from the 1st to the 4th of May, as part of the Kokopelli programme, the International Days of the Seed will be held.
- The Caravan has been organised through the collaboration of various associations, namely Peliti (Greece), Seed Freedom, Global Movement, Navdanya International and Kokopelli (France).
The children’s Pledge
The Festival will begin at the Orto Botanico, Florence’s historic botanical garden with the conferring of the care of the seed to school children and youth by Vandana Shiva and farmer-custodians followed by a joint signing of a “Pledge” of the children and young adults. The handing-over of seeds by the farmer-custodians is a symbolic gesture which recalls the age-old tradition of the handing-down and sharing of knowledge.
The Festival will be held in Piazza Santissima Annunziata in the heart of Florence. People will be able to meet, take part in debates, participate in workshops, enjoy the market of La Fierucola with its country-market stalls allowing the exchange, as well as the sale, of farm-fresh, homegrown and homemade produce. There will be much music.
1. 28th April:
Palazzo Budini Gattai
At 14:30 – “An alliance for seed” – Meeting reserved to Navdanya International, Vandana Shiva, Rete Semi Rurali, Coordinamento Europeo Liberiamo la Diversità.
At 17:30 – “Land, a common good”, a meeting with the movement “Verso Mondeggi-Bene Comune”
2. 29th April:
Orto Botanico (via Micheli 3)
At 10:00 – Welcome speech for children, given by the Orto Botanico and Orti Dipinti (activities and workshops held in the vegetable garden of Orti Dipinti)
At 11:00 – The signing of the Pledge between the children, Vandana Shiva and the farmer-custodians.
Piazza Santissima Annunziata
At 11:00 – The market opens at 12:30 Presentation of the Festival with Vandana Shiva
During the afternoon: Various talks on stage with intervals of music and theatre
At 15:30 – Beneath the Loggia, a workshop on seed for children and young adults
At 18:00 – Salvatore Ceccarelli speaks, followed by Vandana Shiva’s conclusive speech.
Palazzo Budini Gattai
At 14:30 – Open meeting with Associations and movements concerned with seed, food and access to the Soil, to debate and share strategies for the future and to strengthen the movement for Seed Freedom, Food Freedom and Earth Democracy.
At 17:00 – “Seeds of Culture”, meeting with Regione Toscana, Banca Popolare Etica, Navdanya International and the partners of Terra Futura
The Festival is organised by Seed freedom, Navdanya International and La Fierucola, with the patronage of Regione Toscana and Banca Popolare Etica.
Also in collaboration with: Rete Semi Rurali; Donne in Campo; Orto Botanico di Firenze (as part of Museo di Storia Naturale); Community Garden with Orti Dipinti; Peliti; Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biodinamica; Coordinamento Toscano Produttori Biologici; Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biologica; Rete dei Mercati Contadini; Associazione Fiorentina per la Permacoltura; AAM Terra Nuova; Biblioteca delle Oblate; Sportello Eco Equo con Orti Volanti and more still signing up.
Other European associations will be present, some amongst them being Demeter, Red de Semillas, Arche Noah, Open House and more still signing up.
For Greece – firstname.lastname@example.org
For France – email@example.com
Italian: Carovana Internazionale di Solidarietà per i Semi e Festival per la Libertà dei Semi a Firenze