Blog Archives

News from Helena Norberg-Hodge

Last year there was a New Era blog about the International Alliance for Localization (IAL), co-founded by Helena. People and groups from 58 different countries have joined the alliance to date and more are signing up every day. The lists of individual and organisational members may be seen here.

IAL’s recent message: the localisation of our food systems is possibly the single most important strategy for building new economic models that benefit both people and planet.

Since food is something that every person needs every day, even small shifts in the way it is produced, transported and marketed can have big impacts.

For a while now, the average age of farmers worldwide has hovered around 60 years old. As the older generations of farmers retire, the question grows more pressing: who will grow the food of the future, and what will their farms look like? Fortunately, a small but growing number of young people around the world have begun to renew their interest in farming, and they’re likely to have smaller, more diversified, less chemical dependent and more community-oriented farms than the generation preceding them. Not only that, but a surprising number of people with college degrees and “prestigious” desk jobs are leaving urban areas and returning to the land.

We’ve chosen a selection of inspiring short films from the USA, Canada, China, India, Thailand and Australia that offer a glimpse into small diverse farming operations around the world. The films are divided into seven categories:

  1. Introduction — The New Local Food Movement
  2. Diverse Farming Systems
  3. Local Food Webs — Exploring Systems of Distribution
  4. Local Food Processors — AKA Making Delicious Food
  5. Challenges & Solutions
  6. Ecovillages & Networks for New Farmers
  7. And Finally, A Little More Inspiration

We encourage you to pick a few of your favourite films from the list and organize a ‘viewing night’ for your friends or your local community — to inspire others to get involved in working for food system change. Let us know how it goes by tagging us on Facebook and Twitter, or emailing info@localfutures.org.

And please share with us any other short films about inspiring food and farming initiatives that you know of. We’d be happy to share them with others.

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A later message is about ‘Happiness in A Time of Crisis’: 5 Day / 4 Night Residential Course, The Gaunts House, Dorset, UK. July 11th – 15th, 2019

A highly participatory, first-of-its-kind residential event at Gaunts House, bringing together Helena Norberg-Hodge (founder of Local Futures), Satish Kumar and Mac Macartney – three highly sought-after, internationally-recognized and inspirational speakers – as well as distinguished guests, facilitators, thinkers and activists from around the world. This 5-day course gives you the chance to meet friendly, like-minded people to discuss how we can transform the global economy and make a happier world.

 

Read more about the main contributors, guest speakers and facilitators – and book tickets.

 

 

 

 

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Food-related news from Tracy Worcester and Julian Rose

Tracy writes:

“We launched our new video series at Petersham Nurseries Restaurant, London, featuring Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mark Hix, Amelia Freer and a host of other celebrated chefs, and the farmers who provide their pork.

“The videos champion high animal welfare British farming and urge us all to join the #TurnYourNoseUp at pig factories campaign. Could you taste the difference between pork from a high welfare farm, and pork from a factory farm? Mark Hix, Damian Clisby & James Golding hosted our event to showcase the difference.”

“We screened the second episode of our ‘Rooting For Real Farms’ series at the event. Watch it here: farmsnotfactories.org/rooting-for-real-farms/ep-2. In this video we meet Harry Boglione, a passionate advocate of Slow Food and sustainable living and owner of Haye Farm Devon, which he founded in 2014 after escaping London with partner, Emily. The now fully organic mixed farm supplies pigs, chickens, rabbits, ducks and seasonal vegetables to Petersham Nurseries, as well as other renowned London restaurants. Harry set up the 66 acre farm with no formal training and rears Oxford Sandy and Black and Gloucester Old Spot pigs. He believes the way to achieve sustainability is by “doing a bit of everything”, adding, “I am yet to give a pig antibiotics, they are incredibly resilient creatures so if you’ve got to give them antibiotics your doing something incredibly wrong. Not only is it cruel but its not healthy, and its not sustainable”.

“Animal factories cram pigs into such overcrowded and unhealthy conditions that they need to be routinely dosed with antibiotics just to keep them alive. The sheds become a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, bringing us ever closer to the time when antibiotics no longer work as a cure for animal or human diseases. By only buying pork with high welfare labels we can close pig factories. It’s that simple!”

Tracy urges readers to share the video on social media channels.

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Julian Rose sends news of the Belweder Declaration 

 

Which opens:

“We, the undersigned, believe that industrial methods of food production constitute a very serious threat to the Polish people and the Polish countryside, and therefore we URGE the President and the Polish Government to respect the voice of the majority of their electorate and immediately implement the postulates of the BELWEDER DECLARATION: ‘The Charter of Real Farming and Real Food’ “

Its demands make many valuable points, including:

The need to recognise the key role of small and medium farms in the protection and preservation of food sovereignty that is essential for the basic supply of food for the nation.

The removal of restrictions concerning the possibility to buy a full range of products from local farmers by shops, schools, restaurants and other institutions.

Support for the processing of foods on farms and the use of renewable energy sources.

Implementation of an immediate ban on the sales, cultivation and production of GMOs, as well as an effective strategy for the production of GMO-free Polish animal feeds.

The introduction of organic farming methods into schools’ and universities’ curriculums as one of the main directions and not just an alternative to industrial methods of food production. 

And ends:

We urge the President and the Polish Government to stop promoting the current agricultural policy based on highly chemical, industrial farming that can lead hundreds of thousands farmers to bankruptcy, soils to degradation and the country to food catastrophe. 

 

 

 

 

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