“Farming thrives when it works with local ecosystems.”
“The transition to agroecology has wide and significant benefits, for farmers, soils, nutrition and nature.”
“From box schemes to food hubs to community food projects, groups have aimed to reduce their overheads through an online sales presence.”
Agroecology is farming that “centers on food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services while not damaging these resources.” Farming thrives when it works with local ecosystems, for example, improving soil and plant quality through available biomass and biodiversity, rather than battling nature with chemical inputs.
The term is often used imprecisely, as the term can be used as a science, a movement, or an agricultural practice. The field of agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, regenerative, integrated, or conventional, intensive or extensive, although some use the name specifically for alternative agriculture.
“Kindling Farm will be launching a community shares campaign to attract community investors to purchase a farm on the outskirts of Greater Manchester. This 128-acre site will become a farming blueprint for the future: using agroecological methods of farming, it will supply the region with much needed local fresh produce, while giving a voice to the surrounding communities in how their local food system is run.”
We must urgently transition to a new farming system, one that works with nature and is socially just. This is encapsulated in agroecology, a sustainable farming practice that works with ecosystems and peasant land-rights movements, rather than against them.
The easy part is that agroecology makes economic sense. The knowledge and tools to farm in this way already exist, closely linked to numerous global movements, from La Via Campesina and Movimento Sem Terra through to UK groups like the Landworkers Alliance and the Ecological Land Cooperative. There are already thousands of organisations representing hundreds of millions of people pushing for food sovereignty and social justice.
The transition to agroecology has wide and significant benefits, for farmers, soils, nutrition and nature, but requires more than just land and investment in the transition. The food system needs to create shorter supply chains (the journey that food travel down from farm to fork), creating more value for producers and healthier, local, seasonal food for people.
Online food retail has exploded in response to COVID-19. This shift to online represents a huge opportunity to transform sales and logistics so that agroecological farming can regenerate our world. In this guest blog Lynne Davis from the Open Food Network explores technical infrastructure that can support a diverse and vibrant ecosystem of solutions to transform food and farming…
Online has long been a place for agroecological produce to find alternate routes to market. From box schemes to food hubs to community food projects, groups have aimed to reduce their overheads through an online sales presence…
If we are going to tackle our 21st century challenges we need a diverse and interconnected ecosystem of innovators and business models that will enable a mass transition in the way that we sell and distribute food as we transition to agroecological farming…
To support this diverse ecosystem we need appropriate infrastructure that meets the specific needs of farming in line with natural systems. Agroecological farming encourages vibrant, living diversity on farms and as such requires infrastructure to support smaller harvests, more diverse crops and more regular cropping intervals. We need infrastructure to enable such produce to easily access reliable markets. We need to enable markets that are more diverse, less reliant on economies of scale and more responsive to natural fluctuations.