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4 April 2024

ORFC Co-founder discusses UBI4Farmers on Sky News

ORFC co-founder Ruth West joined Wilfred Frost on Sky News to discuss a new report launched by Basic Income 4 Farmers.

We are excited to share this groundbreaking initiative that we’re proud to be a part of—the Basic Income for Farmers (BI4FARMERS) campaign. As advocates for fairness and stability in the agricultural sector, we believe it’s imperative to address the financial challenges faced by our farmers, farmworkers and food producers.

Back in January, we welcomed the UBI4Farmers team to launch their campaign at ORFC 2024. At this interactive workshop, the focus was on finding ways to support these livelihoods will be critical to building the resilient, sustainable and just local food systems we need. Now, we’re excited to share BI4FARMERS first discussion paper “Sowing the Seeds of Stability: The case for basic income for farmers, farmworkers and food producers in the UK ” produced in collaboration with The Basic Income Conversation and progressive think tank Autonomy.

This discussion paper draws on four sessions with farmers and growers about their lived experience and research on basic income and the UK farming sector. It outlines the current challenges in UK farming, how a basic income could uniquely meet the needs of farmers and perhaps most importantly, lays out the key areas and big questions the work to date has highlighted that should form the basis of further work.  

  • A basic income for farmers would be a regular, unconditional cash payment directly made to farmers and agricultural workers.
  • In the UK, there has been a comprehensive investigation of potential basic income pilots in Scotland, and in Wales there is an ongoing basic income pilot for care leavers. 
  • In Ireland, a basic income for artists scheme launched in 2022. Over 100 pilots have been proposed in the USA and dozens others globally. 

This discussion paper intends to inform and instigate an investigation into how a basic income for farmers could work for the UK and Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England individually. We invite you to delve into the campaign’s discussion paper.  

How You Can Get Involved

  • Read the discussion paper: https://autonomy.work/portfolio/sowing-the-seeds-of-stability/
  • Farmers, farmworkers, or food producers: Share your thoughts on the policy idea by completing this survey
  • Involved in politics: Consider including this policy in your party’s manifesto and contact ubi4farmers@gmail.com for support on this process
  • Support local farmers: Buy local produce, join local veg box schemes, and source local and seasonal produce year-round to support farmers.
  • Raise awareness: Share this report with family and friends and engage in discussions about BI4FARMERS.
  • Want to stay in touch with this project: Follow Basic Income for Farmers on social media Instagram & Twitter or join the mailing list by completing this survey

Together, let’s stand in solidarity with our farmers and work towards a future where they can thrive.

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