While much of Amsterdam was outside enjoying yes another day of sunny spring weather, I ventured over to the zoo neighborhood to visit with Nina at the ASeed offices. Aseed is a nongovernmental organization that focuses on issues related to agriculture in Europe and throughout the world. My interest in meeting them today was to discuss the soy industry and what is going on in terms of who is doing most of the soy growing and what is its effect on the environment and society in general.
When I arrived at the building I realized it was a familiar squat (or former squat at this point) where I, in the past, had visited the wonderful artists of pipslab. The kind of building where the doorbells alone indicate that in this place, very creative, unique, and possibly crazy people- work. Naturally I felt welcome and most certainly in my kind of place.
Nina greeted me and led me into a large former auditorium of some sort, which let in lots of natural light, making it easier to see the large signs on the ground. The signs were being prepared by the Aseed people for an upcoming summit in Bonn, which I’ll be watching for developments that I might bring to you.
From the 19th to the 30th of May, Bonn, Germany will host a global summit on biodiversity. Though eventually 5,000 participants will make their way to Bonn, many activists, farmers, and concerned citizens will also be converging on Bonn. The issue is as important as ever; fighting for the rights of small farmers versus the mammoth multinational agribusiness corporations, and questions surrounding genetically modified crops and food – the growing lobby at the EU level, and much more.
In my few hours at Aseed Nina did sit down with me and we recorded a podcast on the Soy industry. She also informed me about alot of related topics which I hope to pursue in the coming weeks and months. Look for the podcast at the end of the weekend.