World-Renowned Basque Farmers’ Union Visits Bay Area
Food First to Host Members of EHNE-Bizkaia, 2013 Food Sovereignty Prize Honorees
OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 12, 2013 — From September 23 to 30, Oakland-based Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy will host members of EHNE-Bizkaia, the Basque Farmers’ Union, on a tour of the San Francisco Bay Area food and agriculture scene.
“EHNE-Bizkaia’s work has been felt throughout the global food sovereignty movement,” explained Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director of Food First, “We are excited and honored to host them as our first international delegation to the Bay Area.”
EHNE-Bizkaia has hosted several U.S. delegations to the Basque Country through Food First’s educational travel program Food Sovereignty Tours. Now, the Basque farmers will get to explore the Bay Area’s fascinating food system and meet with local food activists, farmers and foodies.
At the forefront of food sovereignty activism since its formation in 1976, EHNE-Bizkaia was a founding member of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina. Made up of agricultural organizations from across the Basque Country, EHNE-Bizkaia provides union representation as well as educational, technical and economic support to over 6,000 family farmers.
The union has helped foster a vibrant local network of small farmers and cooperative businesses in the Basque Country. Because of their innovative work, EHNE-Bizkaia was recently recognized as an honoree for the 2013 Food Sovereignty Prize. They will receive this recognition at a ceremony in New York City on Oct. 15, 2013.
Bay Area residents have the unique opportunity to meet the farmers of EHNE-Bizkaia by participating in two events open to the public: Wednesday, September 25 in Berkeley and Saturday, September 28 in Valley Ford, Sonoma County, details below.
The mission of Food Sovereignty Tours is to build the global movement for food sovereignty through solidarity travel and immersion learning. Food Sovereignty Tours is a project of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy, called one of the country’s “most established food think tanks” by the New York Times.
Events with EHNE-Bizkaia:
1.) “Small-Scale Farming, Resistance and Food Sovereignty: A Conversation with the Basque Farmers’ Union,” Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m. in Berkeley at La Peña Cultural Center. Free admission, information here: http://bit.ly/1bbpJwI
2.) An Evening with EHNE-Bizkaia: Join Food First for diner, music and conversation with special guests EHNE-Bizkaia in Valley Ford Saturday, September 28. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at http://foodfirst.bpt.me/. Proceeds from this special occasion will support the FST Schloarship Fund.
Bay Area residents are also invited to join Food First’s upcoming Food Sovereignty Tour to the Basque Country in March 2014. To learn more, visit www.foodsovereigntytours.org