Local Solutions to Global Problems

by Julian Rose

Plenary speech at the First Congress on Organic Agriculture, Istanbul. Oct. 20th 2007

Introduction: At an unprecidented time of global upheaval and change, it is surprising to find many solutions exist right in our own back-yards. The most stark example centers upon food and energy production. In post industrial nations, food and energy needs are controled by transnational corporations determined to exact a profitable return on their investments and to control of the mass market.
But this leads to the disenfranchisement of local communities accustomed to retaining food sovereignity over the means of production of both these primary necessities. Fast fading oil supplies and the need to greatly reduce our global warming carbon footprints, mean that localized 'community control' of renewable and sustainable resources suddenly looks like the best bet.
It is also the logical way to establish a properly balanced and sustainable social, environmental and economic equilibrium within society.

Read more: Local Solutions to Global Problems

Letter From Poland: actual Sept 1st 2007

Good morning all!

I have just returned from Podlaskie's 'land of lakes' where a considerable upheavel is going on in the farming communities that stretch across this large northern most Polish Province.

Here the farms are much bigger than Malpolska's typical 7 hectare strip-farmed small holdings I reported on last month. In Podlaskie, the farmhouse and outbuildings form the centre of the farm, surrounded by fields rising and dipping amongst the rolling hills and tranquil lakes.

Read more: Letter From Poland: actual Sept 1st 2007

The Future of Agriculture

During the 20th century, the word 'Horsepower' has been adapted to describe the power output of the internal combustion engine. However, the early road hauling and agricultural steam engines were quite literally described as being three, four or five 'Horse power', thus one could equate the strength of the horses to that of the steam engines of this new era. These steel beasts lead the charge of the all-conquering industrial revolution, followed by the dominance of the internal combustion engine and the almost total dependence on oil for the great majority of agricultural and transport needs.

Read more: The Future of Agriculture

Real food and real people

You know there's something different the minute the plane emerges beneath the clouds. There below, is a chess board of hedgeless, patchwork fields in various shades of green, amber and brown - with the occasional clump of trees reaching up amongst the spreadeagled farmland.

Then there are the houses, mostly rather small, dotted around here and there in characteristicly nonconformist groups - and the little roads further dissecting the landscape.

For anyone with half an eye for the agricultural lay of the land, one's curiosity is immediately aroused. For large swathes of Southern and Eastern Poland are still the domain of a peasant farming tradition which has changed little in the past three hundred years.

Read more: Real food and real people

The girl who silenced

he Girl Who Silenced The World At The United Nations For 6minutes.

Read more: The girl who silenced

Natural and Cultural Biodiversity

Natural and Cultural Biodiversity, Quality of Food and Agriculture

It is becoming increasingly hard in most of Western Europe and North America, to buy any food from farms situated close to where one lives - i.e. 'local food.'

In England, where over 80% of food is now purchased in Supermarkets, the contents of a typical supermarket trolley of food has traveled more than 3,000 kilometers before it reaches the display shelves. This contributes greatly to planetary pollution and depleted food quality.

Read more: Natural and Cultural Biodiversity

Additional information

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