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
Save Our Seeds
A Gathering of Growers to reclaim the skills of seed saving
October 11th 3pm – October 12th 2pm
We are organising an event with the Soil Association on the subject of seeds.
The event is to be held at Embercombe, Devon on the 11th and 12th October and will not only cover the history of seed saving and the seed industry, as well as the current directives and proposed legislations, but also practical workshops on seed saving and breeding. There will also be talks about what is currently happening in the UK with seed trials and also the launch of the South West Seed Savers’ Cooperative.
On the evening of the 11th there will be a film and ceilidh as well a food. Camping is available as well as some space in yurts. For more details of the programme click here.
Food and farming film festival
A weekend of food, farming and films in the heart of the West country.
The not-to-be-missed selection of approximately 24 titles explores our wide-ranging attitudes and approaches to agricultural practice as well as the specifics of food production. Including long and short-form films, documentaries, features and surveys, the festival is a unique opportunity to see rarely screened material as well as better known titles and exposes us to powerful imagery of great beauty and at times, horror.
There will be a special opening event on the evening of Friday 29th August – a fundraising hogget roast for The Landworkers’ Alliance prior to a screening of Dirt! The Movie. £20 per person in aid of the LWA.
More information 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.
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.