The Landworkers’ Alliance is a producer-led organisation working on behalf of small-scale farmers. This session will hear how existing farming unions in the UK do not speak for the majority of producers, how and why the LWA was founded and what it hopes to achieve. Contrast the achievements of the French farmers’ union, Confederation Paysanne, over their two decades plus of campaigning, lobbying and direct action.
Chair: Ed Hamer
David Handley, Farmers for Action
David is a dairy farmer from Monmouthshire and chairman of Farmers For Action (FFA) – “The grassroots fighting force of British agriculture”. Since 2000 FFA has successfully campaigned for a fair price to be paid to British dairy farmers through lobbying both government and industry and organizing dozens of high profile blockades of supermarket suppliers. He has previously run for president of the National Farmers’ Union and twice been voted Farmers Weekly personality of the year.
Please note, due to a crisis meeting at the time, David was unable to attend this session.
Jyoti Fernandes, Landworkers Alliance
Jyoti is a farmer in west Dorset where she manages a mixed smallholding producing organic vegetables and meat for local markets. She has been a central figure in the UK’s real farming movement for over a decade and in 2012 she co-founded the Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) to campaign for the rights of small-scale producers. In 2013 she travelled to Jakarta in Indonesia where the LWA was adopted as an official member of the international peasant farming movement La Via Campesina.
Genevive Savigny, Confederation Paysanne
Genevive is a small-scale poultry farmer in the French Alps and has been general secretary for the French farmers union Confederation Paysanne since 2005. The union was formed in 1987 to represent France’s traditional small scale farmers with an emphasis on ecological production, high quality local food and support for farm livelihoods. Over the past two decades Confederation Paysanne has campaigned on issues ranging from protection for regional and national food markets, reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and opposition to GM crops.