The Agroecology (Food Security) Bill


Following the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s speech on June 4, the Agroecology Alliance, of which our own Campaign is a part, aims to persuade an MP to present a Private Member’s Bill with the long-term aim of shifting Britain’s – and the world’s – agricultural strategy away from its present obsession with economic growth and cash efficiency, and towards Agroecology and Food Sovereignty.

Alas! Many and probably most MPs will find this dull because few think deeply about farming, and most voters in modern Britain are urban. But if we care about the present and future state of the world – the people, other species, and the fabric of the Earth itself – then nothing could be more vital.

Agroecology means, in essence, that we should treat each farm as an ecosystem and farming as a whole as a key component of the biosphere. In practice this needs farms that are diverse and low-input (as organic as possible); so they must be skills-intensive (plenty of farmers), which in general means small to medium-sized. Food Sovereignty means that all communities everywhere should have control over their own food supply.

The two principles fit very well together and both are known to work – producing good food for all while providing secure employment, and without wrecking the environment. But both, together or separately, are absolutely at odds with today’s industrial agriculture – high-input, high tech, vast-scale, with minimum to zero labour, and owned and controlled by transnational corporates and supported by government’s like Britain’s.

If we care at all then we must change direction: recognize that farming is for feeding people; that we must look after the biosphere; and that the crude scramble for wealth is getting in the way of both. The proposed Agroecology (Food Security) Bill is a only a small step. But if we can at least urge parliament to start taking agriculture seriously, and to question present strategies, that has to be worthwhile.

So please cajole your MP!! Click here to find out how.

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