Farmers and activists from all over Europe converged on Brussels today to push for an EU food policy that is fairer to family farmers and kinder to the environment and developing nations.
Behind tractors, several hundred protesters, some of whom had been cycling or walking for weeks in the Good Food March, gathered outside the European Parliament, where a reform of the EU farm system was being discussed.
From the culinary Slow Food movement to Friends of the Earth environmentalists, eight major groups set up the march to push demands to drastically revamp policy away from big agribusiness.
They claim industrial farming and subsidies undercut global prices that harm family-run farms.
Demonstrators carried signs saying "Size does matter" and "No to mega sties."
The European Commission has made proposals to promote employment and growth in rural areas but campaigners say it is not enough.
"We want fair conditions for farmers, a greener countryside and an end to policies that are harming poor people in developing countries," said Stanka Becheva of Friends of the Earth.
EU nations are seeking to conclude their negotiations on their seven-year budget worth over £800 billion but the worsening economic crisis has complicated the matter.