Welcome to the website of the Landworkers’ Alliance. We are a producer-led organisation of small-scale producers and family farmers who use sustainable methods to produce food, fuel and fibre. We raise awareness of the role that our members play in providing food security, environmental stewardship, livelihoods, strong communities, animal welfare and high-quality affordable food.
We work to overcome the obstacles facing land-based workers face by building alliances, encouraging solidarity and campaigning for better policy for agro-ecology and food sovereignty.
News and Events
Press Release – The Landworkers’ Alliance welcomes the dismissal of Owen Patterson
Rebecca Jones, a farmer and member of the Landworkers’ Alliance said “It is relieving that Owen Paterson has been removed from office. His unashamed focus on corporate agribusiness over the needs of farmers and the environment has been costly to good food and farming. We hope that his successor Liz Truss will put the environment back in Environment Secretary, and stand up to the corporate interests who will try to lead her away from environmental concerns and the needs of farmers”.
Read the full press release here:
Press Release – Free-trade deal threatens UK Food Security.
The controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the biggest bilateral trade deal in history but negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. They aim to ‘harmonise’ standards and regulations, which will mean a shift towards the lowest common denominator, with serious repercussions for farmer’s livelihoods and public health.
Read the full press release here:
New LWA films
Here at two short films made about the Landworkers’ Alliance’s ‘Feeding the Future’ demonstration outside DEFRA offices in London on April 17th.
The first film was made for the Landworkers’ Alliance by Likely Story Films and Pogo Films. This second film was made by Onward Productions.
Take Action to protect our bees
Last year, the European Commission banned neonicotinoids, the dangerous pesticides known to damage bee populations. But now multinational pesticide company Syngenta has just asked the UK government for an exemption to the ban in the UK. They want to get neonicotinoids back on a staggering 186,000 hectares, representing almost a third of the UK’s oilseed rape crop.
Sign this petition on the 38 Degrees website to tell David Cameron to save our bees.
European Farming organisations reject EU-US free-trade agreements
With the fifth round of negotiations under way a fundamental change in the negotiating on the EU-US free trade agreement is being demanded by an EU-wide coalition of 120 groups in a joint statement released today. The environmental groups, social movements, consumer rights groups, democracy advocate organisations and unions are opposing the corporate agenda of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP
The TTIP is set to affect food safety, digital rights, social and labour standards and environmental protection. The statement highlights what is unacceptable in both the agreement and the negotiating process – and what European civil society groups want instead. The organisations reject:
- the lack of transparency and democratic process in the TTIP negotiations
- the lowering of standards inherent in the agreement,
- the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision allowing foreign corporations to sue member state governments and the EU
- the proposed anti-democratic governance structure, the Regulatory Cooperation Council, for an ongoing ‘harmonising’ of regulations and procedures
Read the full statement here:
Hungry for Land – Small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland
Governments and international agencies frequently boast that small farmers control the largest share of the world’s agricultural land. When the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation inaugurated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, he sang the praises of family farmers but didn’t once mention the need for land reform. Instead, he announced that family farms already manage most of the world’s farmland – a whopping 70%, according to his team.
But a new review of the data carried out by GRAIN reveals that the opposite is true. Small farms, which produce most of the world’s food, are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland – or less than one fifth if you leave out China and India.
“We are fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of the rich and powerful,” said Henk Hobbelink, coordinator of GRAIN. “The overwhelming majority of farming families today have less than two hectares to cultivate and that share is shrinking. If we do nothing to reverse this trend, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself.”
See the full report and read more here
Small-scale producers are feeding the future
Yesterday (April 17th) 100 farmers and growers from the Landworkers’ Alliance travelled to London from around the country to protest outside the head offices of DEFRA and the National Farmers Union.
Under the leadership of Owen Patterson over the past two years DEFRA has strengthened its support of large-scale industrial agriculture and marginalized smaller producers, while the NFU has consistently lobbied for the interests of agribusiness and ignored the views of smaller farmers.
The land workers’ Alliance want to see small-scale producers put at the heart of decision making in agricultural policy.
“DEFRA needs to recognise the role of small-scale producers in contributing to the national food economy, as well as the environmental and social services provided by these producers,” says Ed Hamer from the LWA. “As a matter of urgency we demand that DEFRA create policies conducive to a sustainable food future for all.”
The demonstration took place in solidarity with the April 17th – The International Day of Peasant Struggles. A global day of action called by La Via Campesina, the international union of peasant farmers which has over 200 million members worldwide.
(Above) The Landworkers’ Alliance catch Owen Patterson in bed with agribusiness.
Banner photo credits – right Chagfood.