Food for Thought: Towards a Future for Farming

Paperback
The French radical farmers union Confederation Paysanne, with its charismatic leader Jose Bove, has led the world in demonstrating the possibility of a socially progressive future for farming. Rejecting the increasing intensification and industrialisation of agriculture, the Confederation has argued for the need for local food production by small, independent farmers - both for the sake of the quality of the food we consume and to support the kind of societies we want to live in. Originally published in French, Food for Thought has been expanded and adapted for an English-speaking audience. Patrick Herman and Richard Kuper demonstrate how the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy and now the WTO's Agreement on Agriculture are both designed to encourage an increasingly free-market, profit-maximising, destructive agriculture. The majority of farmers have lost out and continue to lose. Agribusiness thrives at their expense. The consequences are dire in terms of social and environmental costs in the industrialised world, and devastating for developing countries, whose ability to feed themselves is being destroyed along with a massive proportion of their small farmers. There are alternatives: to outlaw dumping of food on world markets effectively, to control the amounts of food produced, to share its production fairly among regions and countries, to encourage rather than to outlaw the use of import controls. There are farmers and other radical organisations struggling in support of these aims worldwide. They are at the forefront of the struggle against free market globalisation. They hold out the possibility of a radical, human-centred way of producing our food and organising our society.