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Stop greenwashing regenerative agriculture!

On the 6 and 7 of September took place the so-called “regenerative” agriculture summit with companies such as Yara, Syngenta, Cargill, Unilever, and Rabobank as main partners. 

We denounce the greenwashing of regenerative agriculture by these exploitative companies. 

Black, indigenous, peasant, and Majority World farmers and food workers are leading the fight for regenerative agriculture. Speakers at the summit, however, are almost exclusively white and employed by some of the most environmentally and socially destructive companies in the agribusiness sector. They are fuelling human rights violations, structural poverty, unhealthy diets, and destructive agricultural methods while using the language of regenerative agriculture. 

We stand for regeneration for the planet and stand against fossil-fuel-addicted corporations that sustain exploitative and destructive industrial agriculture. Governments have failed to protect us from the destruction of Earth by these corporations. Powerful corporate actors now make huge profits at the expense of climate change and ecological destruction [read our statement here]. 

In protest of this absurd/nonsensical summit, activists disturbed and delayed its start by 2 hours on the 6th of September. They blocked the main entrance of the Hotel and chanted in refusal with this indecency. A banner was hung on the roof of the hotel stating: “fight greenwashing agro-industry for food justice”. During this time, we got the chance to talk to participants of the summit and expose the different arguments of our statement. All activists were arrested and one activist was kept for over 2 days in custody and sent to immediate trial. Thanks to our amazing lawyer, this activist was cleared and freed from all charges as we should have the right to protest!

Some activists prepared a theatre play that was performed at Oosterpark in which they denounce corporate greed and present the regeneration. They wrote a tale, counting the life of a farmer falling into the trap of agricultural industrialization until the death of her soil. She finally manages to transition to regenerative agriculture, let the ecosystem symbiosis blossom and find back respect for mother earth. 

With this powerful tale, they made us travel with silks, poetry, dance, and music through the history and future of agriculture. Listen to the sountrack here.

The counter lagoon happened on the 7 of September at the Dokcafe with delicious food cooked by Taste Before you Waste.

Activists, citizens, researchers, and farmers came together to talk about the greenwashing of regenerative agriculture by some of the main partners of the summit, but also to talk about real regenerative agriculture projects, sometimes happening close to us. 

We’ve heard from a field specialist about how companies now coopted the concept of “regenerative agriculture”. These companies got their practices also specifically targeted by activists, students and farmers. Boerengroep talked to us about how agro-businesses such as Unilever are present and influence the WUR (Wageningen University & Research).

Aseed, developed more about the greenwashing and neocolonial practices of Yara. XR Landbouw introduced the role of Rabobank in the dutch agriculture landscape. Pluk was also present to talk about initiatives of agroecology around Amsterdam. 

Together we came in resistance against the appropriation and greenwashing of “regenerative agriculture” by agribusiness. The agroecology movement will resist and keep on building and feeding alternatives.