Cornelia Kirchner, IFOAM’s Value Chain Coordinator and expert on Participatory Guarantee Systems was staying with their partner organization Beijing Farmer’s market for the whole of September 2014. Here’s what she did there:
10 days have passed since I arrived in Beijing on 3rd September to start my twinning experience at Beijing Farmers Market (BFM). Being busy from day one, time has flown by fast. During the first 4 days in Beijing, several events and networking opportunities were set-up by my Chinese host on top of the regular markets activities.
The events included a lecture on Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) with guests from Europe and meeting with a group of farmers and consumers from the Farmers Market in Xi’an who came to study the model of BFM to learn and get inspiration for their own work.Participation in a wine tasting event allowed to me to spend a whole evening of exchange and discussion on future cooperation with interesting Beijing NGO people.
After this I departed on a 3-day farm trip together with farmers and consumers from BFM to Hebei Province. The trip allowed me to get an insight in the harsh conditions of farmers working on the Mongolian Plateau and to get a grasp of the commitment and energy of the people involved in the network.
Overall I have been impressed about the vibration around the market. There seems to be always something going on.
The next week we will visit of a farm close to Beijing, and I will give a lecture during a 4-day workshop on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) with participants from several regions in China and the following days a public lecture on PGS at the Sunday Beijing Farmers Market.