Small-scale farming in the European Union: youth voices from the ground

A podcast by Friends of the Earth Europe and Real World Radio

Outside the European Commission, Brussels, 13 April 2022. (Credit: FoE Europe / Laure Geerts)

Farming in Europe is increasingly dominated by monocultures and factory farms. So what does it mean to be a young small-scale farmer in this context? How can they get the power and resources to produce and distribute food sustainably?

Three young farmers from Denmark, Malta and Sweden have shared with us their story: why they became farmers, the agricultural situation in their country, the impact of European policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on their work, their vision for the future of food and farming.

“With farming I found out that I could make something better and I found that very appealing. Then I started a very short education and I ended up here in the farm. And now I’m on a more serious education on regenerative agriculture.”

Linne, young farmer near Copenhagen, Denmark, and member of Ungdom NOAH/Young Friends of the Earth Denmark.

“I don’t get any subsidies as we have in Sweden a very unusually high threshold for how many hectares you have to have to get CAP subsidies. In Sweden that’s 4 hectares. For this first year, we grow on a bit over a quarter of a hectare.”

Maximilian, young farmer and forest owner in mid-Sweden and member of NOrdBruk/La Via Campesina Sweden

“I would like more land to be made available to young farmers. Courses available on agriculture. Package to have government land given to them. As farmers are retiring… I see a lot of excitement but at the same time young people are discouraged to farm rather than to try it out.”

Cane, young farmer and co-founder of Biome Munch in Malta

To hear more from these youth voices from the ground, listen to our new podcast!
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