15 - Via Campesina, Land Workers Alliance and the food sovereignty movement
- food growing movement building but limited by access to land
- Land Workers Alliance in UK is part of Via Campesina which represents over 200 million peasant families globally at UN, EU, international, nation and local levels.
- small scale agriculture still feeds the majority of the worlds population
- Ecological Land Co-op wins planning permission for three small holdings in Devon in 2013
- many other planning precedents being set around the country by land based projects
songs, poems, quotes and stories The Ballad Of Hawkwood by Robin Grey
- 2000 onwards food sovereignty movement
- 2001 Organiclea
- 2012 Land Workers Alliance
- 2013 Ecological Land Coop
We have seen a huge resurgence of interest in growing food and working the land in recent years.
The urban food growing movement fuelled perhaps by the permaculture and transition towns movements have seen many people based in cities and towns learning about growing for the first time and local groups have had some success in securing patches of land for community food growing projects.
Around the edges of London, for example groups have secured land that used to be used as council nurseries, growing plants for local parks. One such group is Organiclea who have just over twelve acres on the edge of London and are doing an incredible job of turning this into an amazingly productive and nurturing place for growing and reskilling/inspiring people.
People who have found a passion for growing food and/or other land based trades often seek to get their own land to start a small holding and whilst this can throw up huge challenges; finding money to pay for vastly inflated land prices or getting planning permission to build accommodation on site, we are starting to see success stories which are setting an increasing number of precedents of use as inspiration and learning for any seeking to follow this path.
An example is The Ecological Land Coop who recently won planning permission for three residential small holdings in Devon after many years of legal wrangling. The Land magazine is a great place to read about these, along with many updates about the jungle that is UK planning law.
In 1993 a organisation called ‘Via Campesina’ was founded which now represents over 200 million land based workers at local, national and international levels worldwide seeking to give a voice to those often drowned out by corporate interests in the EU, UN and respective governments.
A central part of their message is that small scale agriculture still feeds the majority of the worlds population without the environmental and ecological massacres that occur in the name of modern day agribusiness.
We now have an English branch which goes under the name of ‘The Land Workers Alliance’ and I highly recommend you find out more about them if you have interest in this area.
I am going to sing the ‘Ballad Of Hawkwood’ now which is a song I wrote about Organiclea’s getting hold of their land. It is in a simple folk song structure with a refrain that goes like this….