Farmers’ Action Brigades

It is the desire of citizens from various backgrounds to act in order to defend their right to access food, to develop agro-ecology, to stand up for peasant agriculture and to promote the transition… This network of citizen support for peasant agriculture aims to contribute to the advent of an agricultural model based on the principles of food sovereignty. In 1936, some citizens deemed it necessary to mobilize to defend democracy in Europe. Today, we consider it urgent to mobilize to save peasant agriculture.

Why ?

Over the past several decades, peasant agriculture has been subject to attacks from both the public and private spheres. In the absence of a fair and ambitious agricultural policy and under the pressure of multinational agri-food companies, 41 farms per week close down or are assimilated by an industry. It is not only farmers’ jobs that are disappearing, it is also the right of the whole population to get access to food, health and environment that is being impacted!

Did you say “Brigades” ?

In fact, the term “Brigades” was not randomly chosen … it is quite the opposite. It refers to the International Brigades created in 1936 to fight against fascism in Spain. To be named “Brigades” is to disclose that the threat affecting peasant agriculture is not a technical issue, but well and truly a political one! To act as “Brigades” is to admit the existence of injustices that take place in the agricultural sector. It is to affirm that peasant agriculture concerns us all. It is to emphasize that peasant lands are also our lands, because they are the foundations of a healthy diet, but also of biodiversity and climate. Finally, becoming a member of a brigade is to send a message to farmers that they are not alone and that we are ready to roll up our sleeves to create and resist by their side.

BAP network


The BAPs’ mission is to respond to requests from farmers or civil society organizations. To fuel this idea, the members of the brigade act on two different fronts:

1. Working in a community project

The BAPs’ interventions can first be done via community projects: clearing a field, cutting hay, harvesting, installing a greenhouse or raised bed gardens, eco-building, renovating a distribution locale in local food networks… All these activities are aimed at “CO-CREATING”. They aim to support alternative farms and farmers involved in agro-ecology and local consumption located in rural areas (and sometimes in urban areas).

2. Political mobilization

Besides the community projects, the BAPs also use mobilizations: in the present case, the support mainly takes a political form. The purpose of these operations is to “CO-RESIST” against the current agri-food system through pleas, appeals and resistance. These mobilizations are built with civil society organizations (NGOs, nonprofit organizations) and autonomous collectives (direct action and civil disobedience groups).

Some examples of mobilizations are: blockades organized by farmers, reaping action of GMO, shining a light on a campaign through a theatrical sketch, disruption of a multinational’s general assembly…

The Brigades d’Actions Paysannes work hand in hand with other initiatives also focused on the transformation of our food systems such as:

• GASAPs and GASs: A GASAP is a group of citizens who work directly with a producer who is a farmer to buy food, on a regular and long-term basis, and this in a local food network, so that they can eat quality seasonal products.

• WWOOFING: This initiative allows to provide support for the work of organic farms in exchange for room and board. The support provided is over a certain period of time.

• Various educational training courses: which allow to meet farmers and to join in.

• Farmers’ unions: Farmers’ unions provide technical, administrative and political support to farmers. They play a crucial role in the conception of agricultural policies, but also in creating links between the farming world and the citizens.

• NGOs/associations/collectives who mobilize.

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