For all of the latest news about the Landworkers’ Alliance read our latest newsletter.
In the light of the current collapse in milk prices the Land Workers Alliance has issued the following policy statement.
The Alliance Landworkers supports the protests against the collapse in milk prices organized by Farmers For Action in Britain, and by numerous farming organizations throughout Europe, including Via Campesina.
Many members of the Landworkers Alliance who produce milk and dairy products are not affected by the collapse in prices because they process and sell their milk directly through local outlets. However the LWA wishes to see a thriving mainstream dairy industry based on small-scale family farms, and supports measures necessary to protect such farms from the vagaries of the global market.
Simon Fairlie, who runs a micro-dairy in Dorset and is LWA’s spokesman for dairy issues, stated:”Today’s average sized dairy farm with 133 cows produces milk with a retail value of about three quarters of a million pounds. It is a staggering indictment of our economic system that we can’t even pay these farmers a living wage.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has recently started drawing up a long-term strategy for food and farming. While the Landworker’s Alliance (LWA) agrees that a strategic approach is needed to address the challenges facing food and farming, we are extremely concerned that small-scale and family farmers have been excluded from the process. It is essential that Defra recognise the central role that small-scale and family farmers play in UK food and farming, and responds directly to their needs.
The LWA argues that we cannot create a sustainable future for food within the industrial framework that Defra is currently strengthening. Instead we need a National Food Policy based on food sovereignty principles, that puts power into the hands of people to create a more just and equitable food system. The strategy must focus on providing farmers with viable livelihoods and achieving self sufficiency in food while addressing the key challenges of climate change, soil degradation, an ageing farming population and a lack of access to land and training for new entrants.
Another great publication from Confederation Paysanne – Peasant Agriculture: a guide for the perplexed outlines, in cartoon form, the peasant approach to agriculture that allows many farmers to make livelihoods from farming by producting sustainably for local communities rather than maximising production for distant markets.
Peasant agriculture is organised around six interrelated themes: Autonomy, distrbution, ecology, quality, local devlopment and knowledge transmission. Download the full cartoon here:
Here is a new infographic from our friends in France, the Confederation Paysanne, explaining how industrial agriculture is contributing to climate disruption, and how small-scale agroecology farming can cool the plant and feed the people without compromising our future. You can download the document here and share it widely!
Check out this new briefing from the European Coordination Via Campesina explaining how and why public policy in Europe can and should support small-scale family farms. Read it, and share it with your friends, family, MPs and MEPs. Download the full briefing here:
An international audience and over fifty grass roots groups including The CSA network, Hungry for Rights, The Scottish Crofters Federation, Hands on the Land,Tristram Stuart, The Land Workers Alliance ,their international affiliated group Via Campesina, The Slow Food Movement Director Carlos Cardini and many many others met at the Expo do Popoli in Milan to discuss the issue of food over a three day conference in early June 2015.
BBC Radio 4’s On Your Farm episode this week was all about our launch of FarmHack at Ruskin Mill farm in April, attended by around 120 farmers and growers from across the UK and guests from France and the USA.
Farmhack is an initiative born out of the Greenhorns young farmers movement in the U.S. that aims to bring together farmers, growers, engineers and designers to create appropriate scale farm tools for a new generation. (more…)
A fine April day in Bury St Edmonds saw 75 LWA members and friends assemble outside the British Sugar factory. We were there to mark Via Campesina’s international Day of Peasant Struggle which commemorates the massacre of 19 landless farmers in Brazil in 1996
Joined by the Rev Billy and his choir, and various musical accompaniment, we heard how the subsidy system favours big corporate agriculture at the expense of small farmers, and the damaging effects of the current sugar industry on employment, climate, health, and farming. (more…)
The Landworkers’ Alliance is proud to present Feeding the Future, our comprehensive report which lists our four major policy requests of policy makers.
The report addresses how small and medium scale agroecological farmers can address the agricultural challenges of the twenty-first century and what support is needed from DEFRA to support making these changes. (more…)