European Foundations for Sustainable Agriculture and Food
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The European Foundations for Sustainable Agriculture and Food (EFSAF) network has a medium to long-term focus aiming to promote a more sustainable, overarching food policy in Europe encompassing policies on agriculture, rural areas, food and health.
EFSAF takes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a general framework and considers climate change and health negotiations as key elements to achieve sustainable agriculture and food systems. In the short term, EFSAF members have identified the current review of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) − unanimously seen as needing serious improvement − as the network’s primary and immediate entry point for intervention.
The network proactively looks for activities that fill gaps identified and prioritised together with partners. By doing so, EFSAF facilitates the creation of links. For example, outcomes of research activities can be useful for advocacy and/or practitioners, or networking activities could bring different actors to the table, among others. This may happen on national, EU or international level. Activities include:
- Raising awareness of the issue and bring more funders to the field.
- Engaging with different stakeholders, including NGOs, researchers, think tanks, farmers’ organisations, academia and policymakers with different geographic scopes of intervention, expertise, and experience working towards sustainable agriculture and food systems in Europe.
- Engaging with other funders located in different countries that share the group’s vision on sustainable agriculture and food systems.
As EFSAF is not a pooled fund or a funding scheme, foundation members contribute to the field according to their mission and means individually. This may take different forms, such as support of coalition building and strategic thinking; implementation of performance measurement of food systems at country level; production of evidence-based research and development of a common narrative; public mobilisation and campaigning; advocacy work towards governments as well as support to grass-roots organisations; support of innovative projects; organisation of events for debate with all actors in the field of food systems; and/or thematic workshops with experts and policymakers.
The group formed in 2016 to engage in close and specific joint action on European policies. This strategic decision was motivated by the conclusion that European policies are a major hurdle to sustainability in the areas the foundations are actively involved in such as agriculture, food, rural areas, agroecology, health and poverty.
Interested foundations can contact Silvia Balmas for a full strategy document presenting EFSAF’s vision, objectives and functioning.
Relationship with the SDGs
Understanding European philanthropy, and how its work relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, is essential when it comes to finding ways of leveraging existing and potential areas of synergy.
The work of the EFC’s Thematic Networks cover the entire range of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (even if they don’t always refer to them explicitly), which are a key part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The work of the European Foundations for Sustainable Agriculture and Food touches upon the following SDGs:
The European Foundations for Sustainable Agriculture and Food (EFSAF) is part of the EFC’s ongoing commitment to collaboration and peer-learning, as outlined in the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022.