Poland and Peasants

Polish Peasants v. Brussels Bureaucrats
By Julian Rose

Anyone who has visited Poland will have been struck by the thousands of little strips of land that criss-cross the countryside from North to South and from East to West. They may also have noticed the occasional prairie-like expanse, without a tree to be seen in any direction. The contrast is explained by history. Peasant farmers have traditionally owned their land in Poland and mostly continue to do so, dominating the landscape with their patchwork farms. However, invaders of the last century and since 1989, predatory transnational corporations, have ensured that some of the best land has fallen into foreign hands. Monocultures and asset stripping have followed. It is of note that the Communists failed to 'factory farm' much of Poland in the manner achieved in other eastern bloc countries such as Hungary and Czech. On the land, the Poles survived the worst of nationalisation and came through with much of their traditional lifestyle intact.

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British Farmer leads Countryside protest in Warsaw


Press Release 11 September 2001

"British Farmer leads Countryside protest in Warsaw"

Sir Julian Rose and Jadwiga Lopata, the British and Polish directors of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, will be leading a protest in Warsaw on 19 September, to highlight the need for the Polish Government to adopt policies that ensure the future around two million of Poland's farms.

Read more: British Farmer leads Countryside protest in Warsaw

Response to article "Museum or a Place to Live" by Edmunt Szot

Edmunt Szot has written intelligently in his critique of ICPPC's Charter 21 - Countryside Manifesto for 21st Century Poland. However, the remedial suggestions he proposes are very unlikely to achieve the results he expects.

Firstly I would like to point out that, contrary to Mr Szot's allegation, ICPPC is concerned to protect the countryside in all countries of Europe and beyond. Its membership includes individuals from 12 countries working on similar campaigns. Some, such as Rumania, are adopting Charter 21 to suit their own political circumstances. Traditional family farms still exist in varying degrees in every country, but in Poland they represent a particularly strong part of the countryside tradition. This means that there is both more to gain and more to lose where Polish rural policy decisions are concerned.

Read more: Response to article "Museum or a Place to Live" by Edmunt Szot

Speech to sejm

29 MARCH 2001

It must seem strange to some of you that I - an Englishman - am standing here calling for your support to ensure the survival of the traditional family farms of Poland. I think I owe you an explanation:

I grew up in a beautiful rural area of Southern England, surrounded by a diverse patchwork of small fields and woodlands. Wildflowers and birds seemed interwoven into this environment. Farmers, shepherds, hedgelayers, and game keepers moved to and fro in their daily agricultural rituals - and in the local village, the butcher, baker, fruiterer and publican were all stops on the daily shopping round. Many had stories to tell and knowledge to share. Children walked to school, chattering as they went, and after school they played in the long grass and the haystacks on the farms. Most farms were mixed, with around 10 cows or beef cattle, a few pigs and some hens. Life moved rather slowly, with time to appreciate the rich diversity of Nature.

Read more: Speech to sejm


Stryszow is a village located in the south of Poland, 50 km from Cracow. For many years this place has been connected with the activities for the organic agriculture, eco-tourism, renewable technologies and sustainable, family farming, mainly due to the excellent work of Jadwiga Lopata, the Goldman Prize winner in 2002.



(by Julian Rose)

 Objective Designate a "rural development hub" in the County which would act as a model for integrated sustainable development at the local level and catalyst for rural development. Set in motion solutions for a number of key concerns as outlined in the 1999 Oxfordshire Farming Study.


Additional information


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