Newsletter n.56

1.EXPERIENCES: Mondeggi is not for sale, we will cultivate and protect it!





Mondeggi is not for sale, we will cultivate and protect it!

The December 2017 newsletter included an article that showed how the concept of the soil as a common good can be made into a reality.

The article focused on the case of Mondeggi, where a group of citizens opposed the sale of a villa and land belonging to the Province (now Metropolitan City) of Florence.

Under the banner of The soil is a common good, the committee “Mondeggi a Common Good – A Farm without Owners” advocated and continues to advocate that the whole property should be taken into public, participatory and autonomous management in the hands of local communities.

We concluded the article by noting that, despite the support of the committee and local residents, a sword of Damocles continued to hang over the heads of everyone involved in the farm: the provincial authorities had insisted on keeping plans for the sale of Mondeggi villa and farm on the table. Continua a leggere “Mondeggi is not for sale, we will cultivate and protect it!”

Online General Meeting of the European Soil Group (ESG)

It’s been a year! Time then to look back on what we have done in 2018 and plan for 2019. The ESG’s online General Meeting (only in Italian) will take place on the weekend of 23 and 24 February. Documents for discussion will be sent to all participants during February and, following the final discussions in the ESG meeting, will be made available by the organizers of the SIP Forum and published in this newsletter.

We remind our readers that since the meeting take place online, there is no need to go to a particular location, but simply to be available to follow the discussion which will take place via email over the weekend. We will use the membership list of the existing Google Group to which will be added all those who wish to take part. Indeed the meeting is open not only to ESG members but to anyone who is interested in the subjects under discussion. If you fall into this group and have not already expressed an interest, please send an email to with the subject line: Assemblea 2019 Gruppo Suolo Europa.

We look forward to meeting you!


In 2011, the European Food and Drink Confederation became FoodDrinkEurope with the aim of collaborating with European and international institutions on issues that have an impact on the food and drink industry. It currently consists of 26 national federations, two of which are observers, 27 European sector associations and 21 major food and drink companies.

What are FoodDrinkEurope’s goals?

“FoodDrinkEurope’s mission is to facilitate the development of an environment in which all European food and drink companies, whatever their size, can meet the needs of consumers and society, while competing effectively for sustainable growth.”

In particular, FoodDrinkEurope operates through a network of more than 700 experts on 4 specific subjects: i) food safety; ii) consumer policy (science, nutrition and health); iii) environmental sustainability; and iv) competitiveness.

In short, FoodDrinkEurope is the food and drink industry’s lobbying arm for supporting and influencing policies that affect the sector. Note that in using the term “lobby” we do not intend to suggest that this will automatically have a negative impact on the environment and/or society. All organizations can and should put forward their proposals while respecting the law and environmental and social sustainability. Continua a leggere “FoodDrinkEurope”

We must ally with our soils!

The speech made by Greta Thunberg at Katowice is still ringing in our ears. We are not just responsible for but guilty of our own inability to halt the planet’s decline. It is incumbent upon every one of us to get involved, and we must act now.

This is why we seek out and create opportunities for dialogue with all potential soil users. It is no longer a matter of “persuading” them of its necessity for human life, but rather of finding a way of saving it for the sake of ourselves and future generations who are now pointing to us as being the people responsible for the failure to act in the face of disaster.

We therefore welcome the concrete attempt to bring around the table the various interest groups who use the soil. On 23 January a Round Table took place at the European Parliament with the title: “We must ally with our soils!” This meeting between representatives of the building trade, farmers, planners, administrators, trade unionists, researchers, representatives of civil society and EU institutions was not an easy one. Not all those who were invited turned up. Unfortunately there is still some fear and reluctance about sitting round the same table and accepting the presence of a wide range of different participants.

There is a need to break the ice, dispel fear, facilitate mutual understanding … and to realize that it is not a matter of protecting one’s own interests but of survival itself. The outcome of the Round Table, in brief, was to identify possible convergences, bring about a willingness to discuss and map out an achievable common path. All though this might seem like a list of good intentions, it is the outcome of an open and at times difficult discussion, which nevertheless ended in agreement.

The participants agreed on the following 4 topics:

  1. Public awareness, communication, education on soil use and its importance for life and human rights
  2. Political will: protect the soil, enhance agriculture and food, the need for a common legal framework

iii.   Face up to private property

  1. Appreciation of the economic interests directly or indirectly linked to soils

Now that this first step has been taken, it is the job of all those who attended to continue on the path of cultivating and nurturing an achievable common process that can lead to the creation of European legislation that will be widely acceptable.

The Round Table Report is attached below as a web file, the full printable version is available here .

SENCKENBERG Museum (Germany)

Görlitz is a German town in the state of Saxony close to the Polish border. It is famous for, among other things, its museum of natural history, the Senckenberg Museum . The Museum, which is more than 200 years old, holds collections that are world class, including those relating to the tropics and to coral reefs. Everything to do with biodiversity is collected, catalogued and made available to visitors, especially researchers and scientists, from all over the world.

One of the museum’s areas of particular interest and focus is the soil, which is why they have created a travelling exhibition with the name “The Thin Skin of Earth – Our Soils“. A quick glance at the book that accompanies the exhibition is enough to show the Museum’s ability to attract the reader’s attention and guide them on a journey towards understanding the complex world that lies within the soil. Continua a leggere “SENCKENBERG Museum (Germany)”

4 per 1000 Initiative: 4th Meeting of the Initiative, Katowice

Some important steps were taken at the 4th meeting of the Initiative, held in Katowice on 13 December 2018. We invite everyone to read the following, which sets out how the Initiative will be strengthened and structured.

We draw your attention in particular to the programme for 2019, which has 6 main themes:

  • Work of the Scientific and Technical Committee: Set the direction of scientific research and cooperation; Assess projects for presentation to potential funders; Produce documents that specifically relate to 4 per 1000.
  • Enhance the collaborative platform and its operation: Identify all the Initiative’s partners; Identify the location of members and partners; Gather information on farming and forestry practices; Activities to be developed in all of the Forum’s groups; Creation of a new group “Friends of the 4 per 1000”.
  • Specific activities with potential public and private funders.
  • Create a regional or continental level of the Initiative.
  • Contribute to international discussions on carbon storage in the soil.
  • Pay more attention to communications.

Further details can be found here

Continua a leggere “4 per 1000 Initiative: 4th Meeting of the Initiative, Katowice”

Bollettino 56

del 1 febbraio 2019

1.ESPERIENZE: Mondeggi non si vende, si coltiva e si difende!


3.NOTIZIE SU SUOLO E ISTITUZIONI EUROPEE: Dobbiamo allearci con i nostri suoli!