Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Gérard BarbéAs a young man interested in farming Gérard Barbé was influenced by the attitudes of a group of young Catholic farmers. 'To See – To Assess – To Act'. Later, he met Initiatives of Change and Farmers Dialogue; this expanded his understanding of world agriculture. In the 1970’s Gérard met British farmers in France and later in their homes in the UK. ‘The quality of their welcome calmed his aggressiveness, this helped him gain a wider knowledge of the issues facing British farmers' and his professional responsibilities followed a more constructive approach! More recently, Gérard met with his British colleagues to show his support because of the difficulties they faced. These discussions reinforced his commitment and he gained 'a broader understanding of initiating changes through honest conversation.' This helped him understand why British farmers are less militant, but he knew that they supported the actions of their French colleagues in developing sound agricultural policy.
In the early 1990’s contacts developed with the farmers in the Southeast of Poland, this was an important period as Poland was emerging from the former communist system. Shared farmer to farmer experiences helped Polish farming to develop. In May 2004 Gerard and a group of people from Lorraine celebrated with colleagues in Poland as they joined the European Union.