Farming, Food and Climate Justice March 2019

Aug 13, 2019

WWOOF UK are part of a coalition of organisations and groups calling for a transformation in the food system including the Landworkers’ Alliance, the Soil Association, The Kindling Trust, Coventry University Research Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience and The Gaia Foundation to name but a few. 

We want everyone to have access to healthy, affordable food produced from sustainable farming systems that mitigate the environmental crisis that we are facing.

The march takes place in London, Westminster on Saturday 5th October and is called in solidarity with our European friends, this being one of many peaceful actions happening across the continent throughout the month of October 2019 in support of a better food system. This political demonstration will make the point that the crisis in our farming system and in our climate are linked and require joined up solutions.

We attended the march in 2018 and although it rained on us for most of the time we were in procession through central London we had a great time. There were smiles on everyone’s faces on the March [as you can see below] and we were recieved warmly by passers by and tourists. We made a pretty mean green samba machine too as we joined-in with the band with wooden spoons on saucepans.

This year’s march will be preceded by Movement Building Workshops on the 4th of October at the Bargehouse, OxoTower Wharf, Southbank. These workshops are a space where we can come together and develop the narratives and ideas that underpin our movement. 

The details:
Meet at 2pm at the north east corner of St. James Park, off The Mall (The nearest tube station is Charing Cross). From there we will march to Parliament Square where we will rally, before heading onto The Bargehouse on Southbank. (Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, London SE1 9PH – nearest tubes Temple or Southwark). 

The issues which form the basis for holding this demonstration are expertly described in the goodfoodmarch.org website, and are as follows:

Farming

  1. Agroecology – We want farming that protects our soils, the climate, wildlife and biodiversity. No to factory farms, chemicals and pesticides that destroy the environment and drive climate change.

  2. Local food and economies – Reorganise production to support local economies and reduce reliance on imports .

  3. Fair livelihoods and fair prices – We want fair prices for farmers and fair pay for everyone working in farming so that people can make a decent living producing good food, while also keeping food affordable.

  4. More farmers’, better food – We want more farmers, foresters, small scale fishers and other people working on the land. We want better education about ecology and more understanding of production issues. Robots, GMOs and techno-fixes do not solve problems, but rather drive corporate profits and consolidate power.

Food 

  1. End hunger – We want everyone to have access to healthy,  appropriate, affordable food -no matter what their income or background, so that no-one is going hungry. 

  2. Affordability – The ‘market’ is failing –  we have to regulate the multinationals and supermarkets so that farmers can get fair prices and all people can access healthy affordable food.

  3. A fair food system – Our food system should not be damaging to workers, the environment, or animal’s welfare here or anywhere around the world, and our trade policy should reflect that.

  4. A safe food system – We want safe healthy food to be the standard. We want to put an end to dietary related ill health of all kinds.

Climate and Environment

  1. Net zero emissions – We must reduce UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5°C. The climate emergency demands systematic and urgent action now, above and beyond what the market can deliver.

  2. Social justice at the core of transition – This transition to net zero emissions must recognise structural inequalities and power differences within society and between countries. The costs should be carried by those with the wealth and privilege to afford it, and not disproportionately affect people already marginalised.

  3. The ‘market’ is not the solution – We already have the knowledge, technology and resources to make the transition. All we need is the political will from governments to regulate and legislate so that communities can provide real solutions.

  4. Sustainable farming to protect climate and the environment – Our food and farming system accounts for around 30% of UK emissions. Industrial agriculture is also eroding soils, polluting water systems, and driving mass extinction of wildlife, including insects and pollinators crucial to agricultural systems. However, our land use system can and should be sequestering carbon and enhancing biodiversity. Food, farming and climate policies must be joined up and with a clear goal of food sovereignty and climate justice. 

Things you can do to get involved:

Plans are coming along nicely for the March but we still need your help to make it a success. 
We are pleased to announce that ‘knees up’ folk band ‘The Striking Clock‘ have confirmed that they will entertain us at The Barge House after party, where we will have a bar with a selection of scrummy local ales & ciders

We have booked coaches from:

We need lots of people just to turn up on the day and encourage friends to do the same. However if you would like to get further involved:

  • Could you be a steward or volunteer on the day? Duties would be things like showing people where to go, serving on the bar, helping dish out food. You’d need to be able to turn up at 11am for a briefing.
  • Could you run the bar?  This would be for both Friday & Sat night ideally.
  • Do you have a loudspeaker, whistles or walkie talkies?
  • Are you a first aider that could be present on the day?
  • Could you organise a coach from your region?
  • Can you make some great eye-catching artwork? Banners, costumes, puppets etc or coordinate some performance art?

For more information about this march and the current situation with the Agriculture Bill please click here.

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