Since it’s harvest season, what better time to take a look at farming. And sadly, it’s not the family farm we’re going to be talking about.
There are still some family farms left, and still some independent farmers who are making a living for themselves adopting new forms of sustainable agriculture. But despite the growth of organics, artisan food products and people who are adopting farming practices that are kind to the land, the corporations continue to march across the countryside. We’ll hear from a few people today who can tell us what’s wrong with that.
1.) Pat Mooney is one of Canada’s “go to” people for his perspective on technology, biodiversity, intellectual property as it relates to our food supply, and corporate control of agriculture. His organization, The ETC group, works to address social inequalities affecting the poorest people in the world especially relating to food and agriculture. He spoke at the World Social Forum in August. Dave Kattenburg edited and produced this for his online magazine The Green Planet Monitor and shared it with rabble radio.
2.) Gabriel Allahdua, a migrant farmworker and one of the organizers of Justicia, a group which demands justice for migrant farm workers. There are a lot fewer jobs in agriculture than there used to be because of technology. But there is still the need for people. And as in all industries, big farming needs a workforce. Agricultural work means long hours and working conditions. It’s hard work, low paid and often dangerous. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the seasonal farm workers program, set up by the Pearson Government in 1966. It’s not a program we want to be especially proud of. This interview is an excerpt of a longer program by Scott Neigh of Talking Radical Radio.
3.) Lois Ross is one of our newer columnists at rabble.ca. She’s a communications specialist, writer, and editor, living in Ottawa. She writes for rabble about issues that are key to food production here in Canada as well as internationally. She has a background in many different areas and could have done her column on labour, or international development or a whole bunch of other topics. She talks about why agriculture is important for rural and urban people. You can read her columns here.