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SafeHabitus at ESRS Congress 2023 

Jun 30, 2023 | News

Date: 3 – 7 July 2023 

Place: Rennes, France 

XXIXth European Society for Rural Sociology Congress Crises and the futures of rural areas is taking place in Rennes, France from 3 to 7 July 2023, under the main theme: CRISES AND THE FUTURES OF RURAL AREAS.  

The ongoing crises have challenged rural areas, redefining stability and rural life. Concepts like resilience and sustainability are being re-evaluated amidst uncertainties. Language plays a crucial role in understanding rural sociology in crisis. Can rural areas become agents of change instead of passive recipients? These crises impact global center-periphery relations. Agriculture faces new dynamics, adapting food systems and addressing logistical issues. The future of rural areas hangs in the balance, encompassing food production, health, energy, and community. Will rural areas benefit from energy transitions and alternative trajectories away from neoliberal policies? 

One of the aims of SafeHabitus is to increase understanding and awareness of the challenges faced by farmers and farm workers amongst policy stakeholders and researchers. In line with this aim, SafeHabitus organised a panel discussion at the XXIXth European Society for Rural Sociology Congress.

This was part of the programme of activities organised by Working group 17 which saw over 30 presentations focused on working conditions, quality of life, and the future of farming’. The panel included representatives of Oxfam Spain, EFFAT, CEJA, and DG AGRI and was moderated by Prof Sally Shortall, Newcastle University. 

The discussion centered on exploring future challenges facing farm workers before assessing what we know, and don’t know, about working conditions faced by farmers and, particularly, farm workers including young people, women and migrant and mobile workers. The discussion then moved on to consider the policies and governance processes shaping working conditions in agriculture before each panelist was presented with a ‘magic wand’ with which they could solve one challenge linked to working conditions.

The discussion provided researchers and participants with new insights into the lived realities faced by those who produce our food, the multi-agency national and EU policy context associated with farm safety and the need for a variety of actions from EU to local level if working conditions are to be improved and social sustainability in farming achieved.

More information about the event: https://esrs2023.institut-agro-rennes-angers.fr