Resistance is fertile: expose the Exxon’s and Shell’s of the industrial food system!

“The use of chemical fertilisers [in 2015] will likely generate more GHG emissions than the total emissions from all of the cars and trucks driven in the US.”

This short except of a report published by the environmental organisation “Grain” summarises in a terrifyingly accurate way the extent of the industrial agriculture crisis. Indeed, the industrial food system heavily relies on fossil fuels: from chemical fertilizers for large-scale monocultures to farm machinery, food processing and long-distance transport. All of this contributes to a speculative global commodity market dominated by a small group of very powerful corporations.

The devastating consequences cannot be ignored any longer: runaway climate change, ecological collapse, impoverishment of farmers and the destruction of rural communities. While it claims the opposite, it is clear that fossil fuel based industrial agriculture cannot feed the world, because it relies on a variety of finite resources and is destroying the very foundations of life itself: healthy soils, biodiversity, agricultural diversity, and a stable climate.

The fossil fuel industry and corporate agribusiness are not there to provide people with healthy and sustainable food or to protect our climate, but to make profit and to increase their domination over the food chain. We need to unite and organise against these structures that lie at the root of our problems! Our actions should educate the public and trigger more and more people to confront those organisations that promote and profit from a food system that serves neither the people nor the planet. We are targeting big business and the politicians that support them, not the farmers that are victims of a corrupted system. Our goal is to help build a powerful emancipatory movement from below for a sustainable and just food system.

Why the focus on Fossil Fuel Free Agriculture?

By focusing on the use of fossil fuels in the corporate controlled industrial food system, we aim to expand the concept of climate justice to include agricultural justice. We do this by connecting the fossil fuel focused climate movement and the food sovereignty movements, while opening a conversation about the structural links between the agro-industry and the fossil fuel industry, and the major role it plays in the escalating climate, ecological and social crises.

What role does the Netherlands play in this? The Netherlands functions as Europe’s most important distribution centre for both fossil fuels and industrial agriculture. The largest factory of the biggest nitrogen fertilizer company in the world (Yara) is located in Sluiskil, Zeeland. To make things worse, this country is hosting a huge and ruthless industrial livestock industry and performs as a European hub for the distribution of genetically modified soy imports. On the political level, the Dutch government is enthusiastically promoting the intensification of industrial food production, harmful and undemocratic trade agreements and risky new GMO techniques. Taking action here, in our own back yards, is clearly both urgently necessary and of strategic importance.

How can we get out of the fossil-fuel-dependent agriculture?

Fortunately, the real solutions are already all around us: food sovereignty, agro-ecology and peasant agriculture, which feed the planet and cool the earth. Agro-ecological farms that produce local and seasonal food can promote biodiversity and soil health, use fewer water resources, are resilient for the shocks of a changing climate, offer the possibility to capture carbon in the living soil and can provide dignified compensation to farmers. We urgently need to dismantle the fossil fuel powered industrial food system.

We should also nurture people’s connection with the food they consume, for example through food cooperatives and community-supported-agriculture projects. People that want to stay on the land or go back to the countryside should be encouraged and supported. Working alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real-needs-oriented and small-scale production initiatives already exist and have to be expanded further. Industrial scale meat and dairy production have to be eliminated.

How can I be involved in this campaign?

  • JOIN our open campaign meetings – there you can hear about our on-going and coming projects and get involved yourself. Find the next date in our activity calendar. They usually take place in Amsterdam, every second Tuesday of the month at NieuwLand in Amsterdam, at 7.30 pm. Please register by email (ffa@aseed.net) and join us for dinner at 18.30, so you can get a short introduction with the latest updates.
  • If you cannot make it to the open campaign meeting, no problem! Written contributions, feedback and questions are welcome, just send us an e-mail to ffa@aseed.net. We are looking forward to your message!

Our organising principles

In our efforts to collaborate for change we approach our work with respect for all people and all life on Earth. We strive in both our perspectives and practices, to challenge racism, sexism, homophobia, and oppression in all its forms. We empower each other to take up new responsibilities by rotating tasks and sharing skills. We firmly oppose any attempts to use our opposition to the corporate industrial food system for reactionary or nationalist aims.

 

Food Sovereignty - Federico Boy Dominguez
Food Sovereignty – Federico Boy Dominguez