Soil Association conference
Read the latest from our 2011 conference 'Food and the Big Society'...
What's stopping progress?
Ed Dowding - 10 February 2011
Ed Dowding: This afternoon, Monty Don headed up an excellent panel in a session entitled "What's stopping progress?"
"The evidence for changing everything is overwhelming," says Prof Tim Lang (Food Policy at City University, London). "The good news is that the process of articulating the necessity has begun. The bad news is that we don't have the leadership to take it forward."
I couldn't agree more. Way more people are going to die from the effects of a climate change and food shocks in the next 100 years than died from war in the last 100. This is not a happy or easy situation we find ourselves in, and any politician, or business leader who fails to comprehend and act upon this fact is being negligent in their duty. We are still steering full on for the iceberg, and the captain and the second mate are talking about how the crew might like to be empowered to take hold of a little bit of the handle each and reduce the speed.
As Colin Cox (from the public health project Manchester Food Futures) said, "The problem with 'nudge' politics is that it focuses on the small things, and not the big, and we need big changes."
Joanna Blythman took the tack that the Soil Association (and presumably some other lobbying groups) need to shake off the perception of elitism. "In the UK we have the idea that food is a status symbol [and] anyone who tries to improve food here gets it in the neck for being elitist." It would be handy, she suggested, if the Soil Association made itself more accessible to help it it gain mass adoption. Echoing the 'nudge' zeitgeist, she suggested a regular price bulletin comparing prices between leading supermarkets and the organic market rate, to introduce transparency into the chain. It's a great idea which has never been easier to implement. One smartphone app and a quick website and you're away... (nudge, nudge @soilassociation ... )
Guy Watson from Riverford Organic was sublime. There's a man who has transcended from a state of rampant ego-led business growth to high-functional statesmanship, having personally made peace with the mistakes he's made in the last decade. With transparent and abundant honesty, he told how sales have plateaud since April 2007. In that time, their cost of customer acquisition has risen by 5-10x. He's realised he no longer has the energy to fight, and is going to surf the zeitgeist instead, which in Riverford terms means telling everyone they have high quality, healthy food and tickling their probably-TV-induced enthusiasm for cooking. Classic choice architecture, classic nudge.
A representative from the Co-op asked what one big nudge the panel would go for, if they had the chance. The consensus was less meat, more plants, and more home cooking. And an aside to take VAT off tables to get more families eating together.
But Monty was right to focus back on the question. These things are not stopping progress, they're just the reasons it's going slowly. As Colin said, "it's a difficult challenge to find the balance between cheap food, healthy diet, and a healthy ecosystem." So why the obsession with cheap food? Some history from Tim: in 1819 the Peterloo Massacre took place in Manchester following a period of famine and unemployment. By 1882 it was cheaper to buy a lamb from New Zealand than from down the road. We want cheap, reliable food, and we want well paid jobs. We have to alter that culture... but .... how?
Tim Lang would like to see Tesco's split up since it has a virtual monopoly in a couple of areas of food supply, which is one further than Joanna Blythman who wants the Soil Association to stop working with them. Guy Watson would like to see fuel price quadrupled, which I found most reassuring since it's a point I've made myself many times, in order to price-in the benefits accrued to farmers from externalities. That man is fast becoming my new hero.
But the key thing to come back to is that farming is NOT a business like any other. It's the only thing which is worth a damn, and - unlike banks - it actually is too important to fail.
Cheap NFL,NHL,MLB,NBA jersey free shipping (www.buygoodjersey.com) 50%~70% OFF
04 September 2012 15:47
Buy cheap jerseys from china online with wholesale price！ We can supply series of Sport Jersey. welcome come to our website:=== http://www.buygoodjersey.com === everybody!sorry bother your time a min,we are serious and professional jersey supplier,we can offer NFL,NHL,MLB,NBA jerser,the NFL jersey 18usd each,the NHL jersey 38USD each.MLB jersey 18usd each,NAB jersey 18usd each.we have many jerseys of other players, so please contact us for more information if you are interested in . 1) More pictures available on our-=== http://www.buygoodjersey.com === 2) Perfect quality, small order accepted . 3) 100% safe door to door delivery, within 5 - 7 days air express for small orders . 4) We have lots of jerseys in stock 5) Letters and number are sewn on jerseys body,100% embroidery 6) Size: .48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 60 Delivery by UPS, DHL, EMS door to door 9) Delivery in 5 - 7 days NFL,NBA,MLB all are 18usd!!!! The jerseys in stock may be updated everyday ! come on,join us! ==== http://www.buygoodjersey.com ==== We are serious company we look forward to establish a mutual trust and long time business with you in the near future sincerely. We will do our best job for you!!! 50%~70% off ! We offer high quality,low price,best service.We guarantee that seven days of door-to-door! Free Shipping on all orders ! Website: http://www.buygoodjersey.com
(www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 90 87 95 TN 2012 Trainer Shoes free shipping sale
04 September 2012 15:44
Cheap Nike air Max 90 87 2012 97 TN 95 LTD Shoes free shipping online sale (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Nike air Jordan Shoes,Nike air Jordan Retro shoes,Nike Dunk Shoes 1) authentic shoes. 2) The wholesale price! 3) 100% safe, the best delivery terms! 4) Free shipping. Send to your house. 5) The best service! Wholesale Nike air Jordan Shoes,Nike air Jordan Retro shoes,Gucci Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Nike air Jordan Shoes from 1 to 26 (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Nike Dunk,Nike High Dunk Shoes,Gucci Shoes,Gucci Boot (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale Gucci Shoes,Prada Shoes,Nike Free Shoes,LV Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Wholesale NBA_Jersey NFL_Jersey MLB_Jersey NHL_Jersey All team (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Jordan Shoes,Nike Dunk SB Shoes,Gucci Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 87 97 LTD TN 2012 2011 Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike TN Shoes,Nike Free Running Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike Free Running Trainer,Nike rifts Trainer (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 87 TN 97 LTD 2012 2011 Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 87 97 TN LTD 2012 Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max TN 2012 2011 LTD Trainer Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Nike air Max 90 87 97 TN 95 LTD Shoes (www.buycheapgoodonline.com) Free Shipping on all orders ! 50%~70% off free shipping .We offer high quality,low price,best service and free shiping! We guarantee that seven days of door-to-door! Website: http://www.buycheapgoodonline.com
www.pickmaxshoes.com 50% OFF Price cheap sell nike air max jordan shoes free shipping
03 April 2012 11:22
Welcome to visite our website : www.pickmaxshoes.com ,our commerce contains all styles of famous brand products:Nike Shoes, Jordan shoes, Nike jordan shoes, Air force shoes, Jordan mix , Jordan mix Air force UGG, ED Hardy, CA, Air max 87, max 90, max 95, max 97, max 2009, max LTD,max 2010, Nike shox R4, Shox TL3, Shox NZ, Shox MOSTER, Shox TUROB, Shox R3, Gucci, TN shoes, Puma shoes, Prada , Lacoste, Timberland shoes and so on. Website : www.pickmaxshoes.com
All the products is in good quality with low and competitive price, fast delivery and efficient service with many colors and number size in the stock..
We will give you the first class quality products and first class service,so don't hesitate contact with us and do business with us ,we look forward to do cooperation with you !
expectations. Website : www.pickmaxshoes.com
our email : email@example.com Nike shoes: Nike shox air force1 jordan TL NZ R4 Turbo Monster shoes,Nike air max 90 95 360 97 2012 2011 TN Plus shoes,Nike air jordanshoes,Nike air dunk shoes. We sale wholesale Nike shoes(Nike trainers,Nike sneakers, Nike basketball shoes, Nike running shoes, Nike Men's shoes, Nike women's shoes, Nike mens shoes, Nike womens shoes, nike cheap discount shoes). Nike shox shoes wholesale(Nike shox tl – shox tl 3 III, Nike shox nz,Nike shox r4,Nike shox r5,Nike shox turbo,nike shox monster,nike shox VC OZ Ride shoes). Nike air max shoes wholesale(Nike air max tn plus,Nike air max 360,Nike air max 95, Nike air max 97, Nike air max 2012,Nike air max 2011,Nike air max 90). Nike shoes wholesale other sport shoes(retro nike air jordan 21 XXI 11 XI 13 20,nike air dunk low min high, Nike air rift,Nike air force 1 one). China Nike factory sale and wholesale nike shoes to your nike shop & nike store, Nike wholesale nike shoes to United States America and England and United Kingdom and Europe at www.pickmaxshoes.comNike Shoes Wholesale - Nike Air Dunk:Nike Dunk , Nike Dunks, Nike Air Dunk, Nike Air Dunks, Nike Dunks Dunk low,Nike Air Dunks Dunk High , Nike Dunk mid Shoes.Nike Sale - Nike Air Force 1 at www.pickmaxshoes.com
Nike Air Force 1, Nike Air Force one Shoes, Nike Air Force 1 one, Nike air force 1 one Low mid high shoes.
Nike Shoes Wholesale - Nike Air Max at www.pickmaxshoes.com
Nike Air Max Shoes, Nike airmax , Nike Air Max tn, Nike Air Max plus,Nike Air Max 90 , Nike Air Max 360 , Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Max 97,Nike Air Max 2012, Nike Air Max 2011 , Nike Air Max 2010.
Nike Wholesale - Nike Shox at www.pickmaxshoes.com
Nike Shox Shoes, Nike shocks Shoes, Nike Shox tl Shoes,Nike Shox nz ,Nike Shox r4 , Nike Shox r5, Nike Shox turbo, Nike Shox tl 2 II, Nike Shox tl 3 III, Nike Shox monster, Nike Shox running Shoes, Nike Shox LV, Nike Shox BURBERRY. Nike Shoes Wholesale - Nike Air Jordan shoes at www.pickmaxshoes.com
Nike Jordan, Nike Jordans, Nike Air Jordan, Nike Air Jordans, Nike Air Jordan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21,23 Nike Air Jordan 11 XI, Nike Air Jordan 13 XIII, Nike Air Jordan 21 XXI. Jordans mix air force ones,jordans sneakers fusion AF1.nike 25 years air force ones ligh up af1 china wholesale Nike rift, Nike Air rift at www.pickmaxshoes.comwww.pickmaxshoes.com Nike wholesale retail - Nike shoes sale Free Shipping on all orders !
17 June 2011 22:53
Excellent blog. No doubt we should take organic food. We should also take iron and vitamins side by side with our food.
16 February 2011 11:16
I agree with the points made by Joanna re: organic food being seen by many as elitist and expensive. I would like to see the SA & other groups emphasise the benefits of organic food growing on the environment and tap into the interest in the UK in this area. The RSPB have over 1 million members in the UK and the Wildlife Trusts 800,000 with numbers growing year on year. Locally produced food sales are also on the rise as consumers take an interest in helping their local economy and reducing food miles as well as eating delicious artisan food, and yet organic food sales are not increasing. At present the message is not getting across. There's a desperate need to promote all the benefits of producing and eating organic food but for now let's concentrate on one or two positive messages that people can identify with.
mark houghton brown
11 February 2011 19:24
Careful what you wish for. Fuel price probably only needs to double just now to cause a major dislocation for industrial civilisation. Most organic food businesses will find it a challenge to survive in that environment.
Post a comment
Our 2011 conference 'Food and the Big Society' is a public debate on how organic food and farming can provide a mechanism for combating some of the major challenges that are confronting us, including climate change, health inequalities, building social cohesion and re-shaping the economy.
Read the views of our bloggers as they take part in this event in Manchester.