Mother Earth volume 2

How to feed future generations a sustainable and healthy diet? It’s a question that is central to the Soil Association’s mission, as well increasingly concerning our politicians and policy makers. Mother Earth readers will no doubt agree that organic principles offer solutions in a world where there aren’t many other options for resilient, climate-friendly food and farming. Yet the organic movement still has much to do to ensure its voice is coherent, united – and properly heard.

In this issue Urs Niggli from FiBL contends that most people see organic food and farming as niche, elite, and disconnected from the wider debate on sustainable agriculture. How, he asks, can the organic movement realign itself in a way that will enable the public, politicians and the media to understand that we are of strategic importance – and not merely a market? This challenge is also reflected in our second article – first printed in the January 1964 edition of Mother Earth. In Citius, Altious Fortius Professor R. Lindsay Robb highlights the uniqueness of the Soil Association, and its vital role in the context of an ever-changing world.

In our third piece Patrick Holden explores whetherthe dominance of industrialised farming has led to the emergence of a ‘protectionist’ approach to conservation, and questions whether this is sustainable, while Richard Young argues that grass-fed cattle and sheep systems have a vital role to play in sequestering soil carbon and reducing agriculture’s emissions. We close with Andrew Baker’s report on a grassroots project in India which is designed to help local farmers rediscover a more natural – and more rewarding – form of agriculture. But this project also highlights the relevance of organic agriculture on an international scale in terms of future food security and establishing resilience at a local level.

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Mother Earth journal cover