Saturday, 4 April 2015

For humane and sustainable farming

As a member of the Green Party, I support Compassion in World Farming’s (CIWF) charter for a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming system. This would be good for human and animal welfare, and for the long-term viability of our countryside.
The need for sustainable ways of life, that is, ways that leave a healthy world for our grandchildren, and maybe their grandchildren, is a top priority for all green activists. In the case of farming that leads the Green Party to support sustainable agriculture and farming practices that help conserve and enhance the land for future generations.

It is our policy to phase out all forms of 'factory farming' and support a transition to small free-range units, mixed rotational farming and extensive grazing. We support the highest levels of animal welfare in farming and aim to ensure that the ‘Five Freedoms’ listed in the Animal Welfare Act are applied to all farm animals.

In addition, we support localisation and a shortening of the food chain, to reduce fossil fuel use and the vulnerability of the global food supply to climate change and rises in the price of fuel.

We recognise that high rates of consumption of meat and other animal products in richer countries, and rising demand elsewhere, means that an increasing requirement for animal feed competes with food production for direct human consumption. Globally, the combination of increasing population and prosperity on the one hand and of climate change and soil degradation on the other will drive up food prices. It will also create actual shortages and wild price fluctuations. 
The UK must prepare for this by developing farming systems that are more productive yet less dependent on fossil fuels and sustainable.

The Green Party will encourage healthy and sustainable consumption patterns, including a shift towards more plant-based foods. On good land arable farming produces at least three times more nutrition per acre than grazing – sometimes much more. This shift would enable an increasing world population to be fed sustainably and would help to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Like CIWF, we believe in working with nature rather than against, because we recognise the fundamental connections between human society and the rest of the biosphere.

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