Battle Cry At The #TOWIU: “It Takes All Of Us To Make A System Change”
Antonie Fountain’s – Managing Director of the VOICE Network – keynote speech set the pace for the Only Way is Up Conference. In his impassioned talk, he called the participants to action by emphatically stating “it takes all of us to create system change” and that change was “inevitable.
During the workshop entitled “Up Your Game: Promoting living income through a cross-commodity approach”, Filipe Di Matteo from AMEA – a visionary network – presented AMEA’s mission to transform the way in which farmers and their organizations are supported. In most countries, this harmonized system does not exist. Instead, hundreds of projects deliver services in a fragmented, expensive and unsustainable manner. The AMEA network works towards a system that accelerates the professionalization of farmer organizations and incentivizes service quality improvement which benefits EVERYONE in the agricultural value chain.
During the session, participants spoke about the importance of common definitions and the need to know where the finish line is and what is the track. AMEA mentioned the establishment of a common definition through “the IWA29” and how this could potentially unite actors around a unified understanding of professional farming organizations. Another participant spoke of the enabling environment (or landscapes approach) and emphasized that “If we are to change systems, we need to consider all stakeholders in a determined region and bring them to the table.” This need, mentioned Filipe, is the raison d’etre for the creation of AMEA and is why AMEA is the fastest growing network in the agricultural sector (with 26 international organizations from every sector dedicated to accelerating the development of professional farmer organizations).
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