Whilst our proposal to From The Ground Up 2 was not selected we thought it worth sharing together with supporting material.
Alternatives to industrial farming
With Brexit it is possible to rethink British agriculture in radical new ways.
We know what Tory policy is likely to be: to trade cheap food imports against access to financial service opportunities elsewhere. It will be disastrous for British farmers, for food quality and for the environment.
We will explore the coalitions that can and must be built to resist this outcome:
- With farmers a who want to resist
- With consumers – particularly in hospitals and schools
- With health activists -against obesity and malnutrition.
We must campaign for reorientation of the subsidy regime towards
- investment in farms and farm workers (payment for real public goods such as soil improvement, carbon credits etc)
- against food insecurity; giving food to poor people as in the US
- development of agricultural extension colleges and research as we had in the past…
Farming has not traditionally been seen as a high priority issue by the left in Britain whereas its been a much bigger issue in many other countries – including in South Africa. Farming and working on the land is often assumed to be a male occupation – this is definitely not the pattern in the global south. Hearing from a South African feminist working with the Rural women’s assembly in that country will allow participants to consider the challenges in Britain in a broader context.
Our proposed contributors were to have been Charlie Clutterbuck, author of Bittersweet Brexit and Mercia Andrews (TCOE SA)
The following articles from Mercia’s organisation, the Trust for Community Outreach and Education in South Africa, give some of the necessary background to this discussion.