Land theft is not a thing of the past. Samwel, Kathryn, Angie and June will be talking about the different ways communities are discriminated against through land theft and dispossession. Their conversation will focus on understanding that true food sovereignty demands local control of land. Samwel’s Maasai community has faced illegal sales of their land to foreign companies; Kathryn, representing KMP (the Peasant Movement of the Philippines), has been on the frontlines of organizing to gain land rights for the nine out of ten Filipino farmers that do not own the land they till. The Provosts have been the target of predatory loans, historical deprivation and racial discrimination. Together, they will explain how ownership of land is not a narrative around regeneration or sustainability. It is an argument around sovereignty over the very land they and their ancestors tended. To be truly food sovereign, the land must be in the hands of the local communities.
Co-hosted by MVArc (Portugal) and the Woodland Trust (UK)
Already we are seeing the difference in our weather patterns from climate change. Integrating trees within the farming system can buffer extremes by providing shade for crops and livestock. In this session, we will hear from speakers from the UK, Spain and the USA about the role of trees in a hotter climate, including practical management considerations and benefits for both livestock and crops. Can you do something now which will allow you to plan ahead to make your farm more resilient?
Abattoirs are the linchpins of local food and sustainable livestock systems, adding value to meat, serving local consumers, reducing distance to slaughter and producing traceable by-products. Organised by the Sustainable Food Trust, this session is chaired by CEO Patrick Holden who will outline the current situation in light of the Agriculture Bill, Covid and Brexit. The panel will then discuss what is needed to make small abattoirs sustainable for the future.
Beginning with Will Harris, owner of White Oak Pastures and home to one of America’s only on-farm slaughterhouses, we will explore how the problems facing small abattoirs are mirrored across the pond. He will talk about why slaughtering on farm, or as near to the farm as possible, is so important, and will share his knowledge of the best ways to achieve this.
Head of the Food Standards Agency Emily Miles will then speak about the situation in the UK and what is needed from a regulatory and governmental point of view to ensure the small abattoir sector can be resilient and thrive. She will talk about measures already being taken by the FSA and give insights to the impact of Brexit and COVID-19, looking to the future and what more can be done.
Marisa Heath from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare will share the work of the new small abattoir sector group, including work on waste, reducing distance to slaughter and how Government support could enable small abattoirs to thrive.
Finally, we will hear from Sara Grady and Alice Robinson about how to make small abattoirs sustainable from the ground up, through developing by-product markets. They are adding value to what has in recent years become a waste product for abattoirs - hides and skins - by developing leather that is fully traceable back to the farm.
Much food production in Europe and North America depends on migrant workers. Yet, most people are not aware of the extreme working and living conditions involved in food production and processing. In many cases workers are people who have been forced to move to regions in the Global North due to climate change and conflict from rural and land-based livelihoods in poorer countries or regions. The criminalisation of migration is making people’s journeys to seek refuge increasingly dangerous and fuelling exploitation of people within the industrial food and farming system.
In this session, we will hear from members of La Via Campesina from Italy and the US-Mexican border region. This will allow us to consider the challenges faced by farmworkers on the front line of the transnational labour movement. We will ask what can be done to show solidarity with workers, and we will learn from the recent experiences of La Via Campesina organisers.
To understand how we can oppose racist oppression of land-based workers and challenge the systemic causes of exploitation, we will hear about new models of ethical agriculture run by Italians and migrant workers. To explore how similar struggles emerge in industrial food systems across the world, we will hear from Carlos Marentes who has been a labour organizer and farm worker advocate since 1977. The discussion will focus on long-standing struggles, new challenges in the context of coronavirus, and messages of hope and solidarity.