THE CAMPAIGN FOR REAL FARMING

and

THE COLLEGE FOR ENLIGHTENED AGRICULTURE

A Declaration of Intent

The Campaign promotes Enlightened Agriculture — aka “Real Farming”: “Farming that is expressly designed to feed people without wrecking the rest of the world”.

If this was truly the world’s intent, then we could feed everyone who is ever liable to be born to the highest standards both of nutrition and gastronomy; and we, humanity, could be looking forward to the next million years.

But we won’t get anywhere near all this if we rely on present-day governance – big governments, corporates, and banks, supported by their paid intellectuals and experts. We – humanity — have to take our own affairs into our own hands. So the Campaign aims for nothing less than

“A people’s takeover of the world’s food supply”.

To achieve this, we need to re-think the world’s agriculture from first principles – husbandry, technology, science, economics, governance, morality. This is the role of The College. We aim to attract the world’s most accomplished thinkers – but even more important is the genius of the people. Agriculture and the world’s cuisines were devised over tens of thousands of years by people at large. The College must be a people’s forum.

If enough people get involved, we can surely build the critical mass that could rescue us all, and the world at large, even at this late hour.

Colin and Ruth Tudge, January 8 2011

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The Campaign for Real Farming sprung up in 2009 as a scion of LandShare, in turn established with the generous support of the Hollybush Trust. Co-founders of the Campaign, and co-editors of this website, are Colin Tudge and Ruth Tudge (aka Ruth West).

The Editors

Colin Tudge is a townie by origin – South London – but fell in love with agriculture on a visit to a farm in Lancashire on his 10th birthday (in 1953). He went on to read zoology at Cambridge – and then began to write for a living, mainly for Farmers Weekly and New Scientist, and then for BBC Radio 3. In these roles he has been able to look at farming and agricultural research in dozens of countries in all the habitable continents. In the 1980s, he wrote scientific reports for the old Agricultural and Food Research Council, and so visited virtually all the original AFRC research stations. He attended the first World Food Conference in Rome in 1974 and there realized that the world’s food problems were not caused by lack of resources or the foolishness of farmers but by misguided policy and inappropriate technologies. In his first book, The Famine Business (1977) he argued that the food industry, then dominated by processors who were hooked on “tvps” (textured vegetable proteins), was making things worse. Now that the industry (and governments) are hooked on gmos, he has a great sense of déjà vu. Colin’s personal website is www.colintudge.com.

Ruth Tudge (West) has followed a varied career from community worker in London’s east end in the early ’70s to coordinator of a farmers’ market in the last few years.  In between she has worked as a researcher and campaigner in the areas of health, the environment and human rights with spells as consultant for the WHO, UNEP and the Commonwealth Secretariat;  run a research foundation exploring subjects that don’t fit the current scientific paradigm —  which at the time included climate change, as well as dowsing and healing;  and got involved in setting up a social enterprise with a group of indigenous women in the Peruvian Andes.

Suzanne Wynn (Food Editor) teaches seasonal cookery using ingredients local to her home in Somerset.  As the former Chair of SlowFood UK’s Ark of Taste commission, she championed artisan producers whose traditional foods are threatened by modern production and distribution methods.  During this time she noted that artisan producers, unlike their counterparts in modern farming, were often joined in the business by their offspring.  Despite the difficulties they faced, she found them generally more optimistic than their counterparts, and certainly more filled with pride in the work they were doing.

7 thoughts on “Who We Are

  1. Hello Colin,
    Am a huge of your work. (especially liked The Time Before History).

    I work a lot with leaf vegetables and have written a book called 21st Century Greens: Leaf Vegetables in Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture.

    I would like to send you copy if I had a postal address to send it to. It can be downloaded for free (either individual chapters or the whole book) from our website, leafforlife.org.

    Thanks for your inspiring and important work.

    All the Best,
    David Kennedy

  2. Abingdon Carbon Cutters just hosted Colin Tudge talking about his campaign – very inspiring. We are a Community Action Group (CAG) working to help reduce the carbon footprint of Abingdon in response to climate change, and to promote a sustainable and resilient lifestyle for our town as fossil fuel stocks decline. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month and are also involved in the Local Excellence market every quarter. Last year we ran a successful Apple Day in South Abingdon and hope to do the same this year on October 15th.

  3. I am trying to write about real farming from a British political viewpoint. Can you suggest any publication that considers the economic and political measures that would shift British farming towards (and into) real farming?

  4. Very interesting article in today’s ‘Guardian’, especially coinciding with news of the mass slaughter of livestock resulting from high feedstock prices. I was wondering whether you had a view on this capitalist-driven waste & the moral disgrace attaching thereto.

  5. How good to see the Campaign’s website chock full of useful, practical information. We would be happy to make a Safe Planet contribution to Real Farming public awareness and outreach. To begin, let’s blog about the Campaign on Safe Planet’s facebook and twitter pages. Also, could invite you to visit our neighbours’ bio farm in Val des Usses, Haute Savoie, run by cheerful and tireless urban exiles from Geneva region. Excellent goat cheese.

  6. We wanted to let you know that we have provided links to the Campaign for Real Farming from our new ecoskill e-learning course for green entrepreneurs.  We would be happy to send a copy of the relevant pages from the course if you provide us with contact details. However, we use a quote from Colin Tudge and direct participants to your website for more information about the way forward for UK agriculture.

    The ecoskill e-learning course is entitled ‘Generating Ideas’ and is the first in our Green Economy series of courses. This series is aimed at people who would like to start a business to meet the needs of the green economy but who need some help in identifying and developing ideas. The course provides a structured approach to guide participants to create practical business ideas for greener products and services that can form the basis of new business ventures. ‘Generating Ideas’ includes an overview of the green economy and the sustainability challenges fuelling its growth, a method to spark new green business ideas and finally a review process to identify the ideas that show real promise.

    The course includes inspiring examples of new businesses which aim to meet environmental and sustainability challenges together with organisations who can provide the participants with more, relevant information.  We hope this additional publicity for the campaign may be helpful.

    Please have a look at our:

    website, http://www.ecoskill.co.uk
    facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Ecoskill/312670148783090) and
    twitter feed (@ecoskilluk).

    It would be great if you would make your business network aware of the course and our efforts to develop new businesses to meet the needs of the green economy. If you want to see what the course looks like then please take a look at the demonstration course.

    If you want any more information about this, please do not hesitate to contact me, using the email address below. Thank you for your help.

    I am considering putting forward a proposal to speak at your conference in January as our ideas resonate with the ‘New Generation, New Ideas’ thread of the conference. I will be in contact about this in due course.

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