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1 C-Change in GEES People and the Environment
Session 4: Agricultural Resources: The Food System Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

2 How to use the teaching slides
These slides are not intended to form a complete lecture on the session topic. These resources are designed to suggest a framework to help tutors develop their own lecture material The resource slides comprise where appropriate; key points, case studies, images, references and further resources. There are limited case studies included. Students can develop their own portfolio of case studies as part of coursework activities These resources may be used for educational purposes only, for other uses please contact the author These slides were last updated in January 2010 Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources 2

3 Disclaimer Links within this presentation may lead to other sites. These are provided for convenience only. We do not sponsor, endorse or otherwise approve of any information or statements appearing in those sites. The author is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such external site. While every effort and care has been taken in preparing the content of this presentation, the author disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the information in any of the content. The author also (to the extent permitted by law) shall not be liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information. The author is also not liable for any losses or damages arising from the use of, or reliance on sites linked to this site, or the internet generally. Pictures, photographs and diagrams within this presentation have been produced by the author unless otherwise stipulated No content within this resource is knowingly an infringement of copyright. Any infringement can be immediately rectified on notification of the author of the resource Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources 3

4 Learning Objectives to be able to describe the food system
to understand how the food system links developed and developing countries to be familiar with the resource demands of modern agriculture to be able to describe processes of production, distribution, consumption and disposal of food and some of the environmental problems produced by each Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

5 Lecture Outline 1) Geography of crop diversity 2) The ‘food system’
Production in modern agriculture Distribution Consumption 3) Towards sustainability 4) Public policy reform 5) Summary Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

6 1) Agrodiversity: A Global Geography
Wheat: comes from the Middle-East - and is grown in Canada and Australia, Coffee: comes from Ethiopia – and is grown in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The diversity of DNA fractions have been used to study diversity of crop species. These studies have not confirmed Vavilov's theory that the centres of origin are the areas of greatest diversity. They have identified centres of diversity, but these are often not the centres of origin. Agriculture is built on biodiversity – agriculture began when people domesticated wild foods. Modern crops are usually grown as single varieties in monocultures of genetically rather homogenous cultivars, far away from their diversity centres. Thus wheat, which comes from the middle-east, is grown in Canada and Australia, while coffee, which comes from Ethiopia, is grown in Latin America and Southeast Asia. This is a map of Vavilov’s diversity centres. In recent years, the diversity of DNA fractions and other approaches have been used to study diversity of crop species. In general, these studies have not confirmed Vavilov's theory that the centers of origin are the areas of greatest diversity. They have identified centers of diversity, but these are often not the centers of origin. For some crops there is little connection between the source of the wild ancestors, areas of domestication, and the areas of evolutionary diversification. Species may have originated in one geographic area, but were domesticated in a different region. Some crops do not even have centers of diversity. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

7 Coffee: from Africa to ASDA
originates in the highlands of Ethiopia grown across the developing world sold as a commodity for export, primarily to the developed world ‘simple commodity production’ – farmer sells raw beans for money used to buy groceries, often including instant coffee! VIETNAM Coffee exports increased more than tenfold between the mid-eighties and today. Now the second biggest coffee producing country. Between 2000 and 2003, 500,000 jobs were lost in Mexico and Central America, while at the same time, employment in the coffee sector increased from 300,000 to between 4 and 5 million in Vietnam. To look at coffee in a bit more detail: Coffee is produced in 70 countries, which are often heavily reliant on coffee for their export revenues. In 2005, four countries dominated the export market: Brazil, with nearly 32% of the market, Colombia, with 11%, Vietnam, with 10%, and Indonesia with 7%. In the past 15 years, there have been significant shifts in production areas. Brazilian production capacity increased from 26 million bags in the mid-nineties to 40 million bags now, a rise of 50% in less than 10 years. During the same period, Vietnam saw an even greater expansion in production. The country’s coffee exports increased more than tenfold between the mid-eighties and today. It currently produces million bags and is now challenging Colombia for the role of second largest coffee producing country. This incredible rise in production by Vietnam has had significant implications for employment in producing countries. Between 2000 and 2003, 500,000 jobs were lost in Mexico and Central America, while at the same time, employment in the coffee sector increased from 300,000 to between 4 and 5 million in Vietnam. Coffee has been moving across a commercial agricultural frontier. See: Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

8 Farm- based producers 2) The Food System Multiple-retailers Consumers
Processors Agricultural co-ops and producers organisations Wholesalers Multiple-retailers Consumers Pick-your-own Farmer’s markets Farm shops Box schemes ‘Local’ Food A conceptual map of coffee’s connections might look something like this: the food system. The ‘food system’ incorporates all the different processes and people that are involved from getting food from the farm to our plates. It is a globalised system that links together farmers and consumers from disparate locations in the world. It represents the different ways in which food products reach consumers today and it acknowledges the importance of retailers and consumers in shaping the nature of farm-based production. (Robinson, 2004:74). Most people in the developed world, and in a growing number of developing countries, are remote from their food supplies (Tansey and Worsley, 1995:85). Over the last three decades both food production and distribution have been radically restructured in favour of a more global scope and character. This ‘globalisation’ of the food system (Robinson 2004:53) links production and consumption in different parts of the world. Trade in certain agricultural products has become global. For example, Argentina, Brazil, China, Kenya and Mexico account for over 40% of world trade in horticultural items traded to the developed world. However the fastest growing contribution to these exports is from Africa, assisted by the low cost of production, relatively short flight times and increasing ability to supply produce of the quality and quantity required by international markets ( Barrett et al 1999 in Robinson 2004:28) The supermarkets or multiple-retailers have emerged as key actors in the contemporary food system, controlling 80 per cent of all food sales. Their policies and operations are central in this global trade, particularly their policy to offer year-round supplies of fresh produce-lines and therefore requiring sourcing from different areas around the world (Robinson, 2004:58). Farm products are much more highly processed and many new products have been developed for consumption by food manufacturers. Food processing is now big business. By 1992 the production of processed food and beverages amounted to $1.5 trillion, making it one of the world’s largest industries. (OECD, 1995 in T and W, 1995) that plays an important role in the global food system through securing supplies of their raw materials and in selling there products. (Tansey and Worlesy, 1995:111) However, there are now emerging significant, although on a small scale, alternatives to this globalised model. Marked on the diagram as ‘local’ food, box schemes, farmers market, pick your own and farmers shops create and enable direct links between the producer and the consumer. Robinson G (2004) ‘Geographies of Agriculture: Globalisation, restructuring and sustainability’ Harlow: Pearson (p.74) Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

9 Food Production Agriculture: Covers 1/3rd of land surface
Employs 45% of working population, but this is falling... (in the US it is about 2%) Problem: Per capita agricultural production has outpaced population growth – today there is an extra 25% more food compared with the figure for 1960. But regional variability: In Africa food production today is 10% less per person today than in 1960 Still 800 million people hungry and lacking adequate access to food (but less than in 1970) (Pretty, 2005) Major increases in global food production since the 1960s: Today agriculture: Covers 1/3rd of land surface Employs 45% of working population, but this is falling... in England 4/5 of land is used for agricultural purposes. The agricultural population is much larger in the developing world - averaging about 60%. Whereas in the developed world it is much less. For the UK and the USA it is about 2 per cent of the working population. (Grigg, 1995). Despite population growth from 3 to 6 billion since the 1960’s, per capita agricultural production has outpaced population growth. For each person today, there is an extra 25% more food compared with the figure for 1960. So, the first stage in the food system is food production:. There have been major increases in global food production since the 1960’s. Aggregate world food production has grown by 145% I this time. The greatest increases have been in China with a five fold increase, mostly in the 1980s However these figures mask significant regional and national diversity. Sufficient food supply, new termed food security in policy circles as an important issue. In the early 21st Century there are still about 800 million people hungry and lacking adequate access to food (Pretty, 2005). In Africa food production today is 10% less per person today than in And in the early 21st Century there are still 800 million people hungry and lacking adequate access to food. This is however still progress from the recorded level of under-nourishment of 960 million people in (Pretty, 2005 page 1). Aerial photograph of fields in western Kansas Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

10 Making Agriculture Industrial
‘… the English farmer has been more involved in the ‘rat race’ that goes on all around …Every year, s/he looks a little less like a farmer, a little more like an industrialist…to maximize output from a steadily increasing volume of resources employed. In searching for labour-saving and time-saving systems, s/he streamlines cropping, intensifies livestock husbandry…burns straw, steps up reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and so far as nature will allow, specialises in mass-production’ (Beresford, 1975: 143). The 'Technocratic Labor' Thesis: a Critique, Arena, No. 39, 1975 Over the last century and a half agriculture in the developed countries has been profoundly altered. Output and productivity have greatly increased and there have been major changes in technology. Farmers who once produced mainly for home consumption now sell nearly all their produce, and where as the inputs were once produced on the farm, most are now purchased from industry. (Grigg, 1995:84) This process is similarly called the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture (Grigg, 1995:84), the ‘industrialisation’ of agriculture or the evolution of a ‘productivist’ agriculture (Robinson (2004:62) so called because of the increased productivity of the the farming system - that is the production of more food (higher yields) from less land. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

11 Modern Agriculture Concentrated - fewer but larger farming units
Specialized - fewer farm products from each farm, region and country Intensified - higher yields are obtained using less land area through more inputs such as artificial nitrogen fertilisers and pesticides; through the mechanisation and automation of production processes and through the application of developments in biotechnology Largely dependent on fossil fuels! (Robinson, 2004: 62) ‘Green Revolutions’ in developing countries – without general social or economic reform. Have brought environmental problems… This transformation of agriculture was particularly marked in the UK from the second world war onwards where government subsidies for farmers encouraged a higher productivity. This quote paints a poignant picture of British agriculture by the 1970’s… This modernisation process occurred first in the developed world but attempts were made to similarly transform agriculture in the developing world through what has become known as the ‘Green revolution’. This typically involved attempts to boost crop yields rapidly without general social or economic reform, largely on existing land holdings, by making available new, high-yielding seed varieties supported by cheap fossil- fuel (oil)-based inputs of fertiliser, pesticides and tractor fuel (Barrow, 2005:82). However, over-time it has come to be recognised that this way of farming leads to various environmental problems... Barrow, C.J. (2005) ‘Environmental Management and Development’ Routledge Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

12 Modern Agriculture: Irrigation
Irrigation has three benefits: It allows for the cultivation of land where rainfall is insufficient for any crop growth such as in Egypt and Pakistan; It is an important supplement in regions where rainfall in the growing season is variable, and It allows water to be stored in the wet season and used in the dry season, allowing two crops to be obtained in the same year (Grigg, 1995:95). Whilst irrigation improves crop productivity and can extend cultivated areas significantly, it can cause water-logging and salinisation (Goudie 2006). ISSUES Water-logging Salinization Competition with domestic uses The provision of water for crops other than from rainfall has a long history in Asia, but most of the present irrigated area has been established comparatively recently (Grigg, 1995). The map shows the extent of irrigation globally in 2000. Irrigation has three benefits. It allows for the cultivation of land where rainfall is insufficient for any crop growth such as in Egypt and Pakistan; it is an important supplement in regions where rainfall in the growing season is variable and it allows water to be stored in the wet season and used in the dry season, allowing two crops to be obtained in the same year (Grigg, 1995:95). Whilst irrigation improves crop productivity and can extend cultivated areas significantly, it can cause water-logging and salinisation where irrigation water causes ground water levels to rise, high air temperatures lead to rapid evaporation of the water and this leads to build up of salts in the soil (Goudie 2006). Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

13 Modern Agriculture: Fertilisers
Nitrogen Fertilisers Massive increases in use since 1960s Improve crop yields Leach into water systems causing eutrophication Eutrophication is the enrichment of waters by nutrients that leads to excessive growths of algae; when the algae dies there may be a serious depletion of oxygen as it decays, leading to the death of fish. (Goudie, 2006) Since the early years of the 20th century nitrogen fertilisers have been used to increase the yield of crops. Nitrogen used in this way eventually makes it was back into the atmosphere by way of the nitrogen cycle but before it does so it can contribute to water pollution. It is particularly a problem where nitrogen-based fertilizers are used excessively and not completely absorbed by the growing plants, then nitrates are leached through the soil into the groundwater system. This can lead to contaminated water supplies . At its worst it can cause methaemoglobinemia ‘blue-baby syndrome’ in infants through its ability to bind with haemaglobin and reduce the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. (Kemp 2004:282) The leaching of nitrates also causes environmental problems when they are carried into rivers and lakes.It can contribute to ‘eutrophication’ which is the enrichment of waters by nutrients that leads to excessive growths of algae; when the algae dies there may be a serious depletion of oxygen as it decays, leading to the death of fish (Goudie, 2004). The problems can be worse in areas where excessive amounts of fertiliser are used to improve crop yields in soils that are not particularly suited to arable agriculture (Kemp, 2004:282). Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

14 Modern Agriculture: Pesticides
Global use: 2.56 billion kg/yr Global market: $25 billion/yr Contain organochlorides Problems Effects of organochlorides on wildlife and human health Death of birds and other predators Deleterious effect on health of workers Questions about the effects of cumulative exposure on health of consumers – the ‘cocktail’ effect Pesticides contribute to increasing crop yields and include herbicides to kill weed plants, insecticides and fungicides.Global use in agriculture of pesticides is now 2.56 billion kg a year, following a growth in use from the 1960’s, although the rate of growth has slowed in the 1990’s. The global market for pesticides is today $25 billion per year. 70 % is used in developed world but sales now growing in developing countries (Pretty, 2005). In the past organochloride pesticides such as DDT, aldrin and lindave were frequently used in the past but they accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals and through biomagnification in the food chain may reach toxic levels in predators (Kemp 2004). In 1962 Rachel Carson in her seminal book Silent Spring alerted world to dangers of synthetic chemicals used in pesticides such as the insecticide DDT. Because of side effects such as sterility, birth defects, cancer and damage to the nervous system, they have been banned or had their use severely restricted in most parts of the world (Simonich and Hites, 1995 quoted in Kemp 2004: 283). Organophosphorous compunds have tended to replace organochlorides since they breakdown rapidly in the environment and do not bioaccumulate (Kemp, 2004). However they are still a source of water pollution and serious health problems are still linked to their use. Numerous studies recording the impact pesticides can have on the health of agricultural workers using them. For example a study conducted at the international Rice Research institute in the Philippines found that Filipino rice farmers exposed to pesticides had significantly increased eye, skin, lung and neurological disorders ( Pingali and Roger (1995) as cited in Pretty 2005). There is also continuing public concern over the effects the consumption of pesticide residues on food stuffs may have on human health. Government regulation focuses on making sure such residues are at levels that do not cause harm. However there are fears over the ‘cocktail’ effect that occurs with the cumulative ingestion of various small pesticide residues overtime. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

15 Modern Agriculture: Carbon Budget
Share of different sectors in total anthropogenic GHG emissions in 2004 in terms of CO2-equivalent [Table TS.2b] IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Agriculture was responsible for 13.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

16 Climate Change and Agriculture: Uncertainties
Changes in rainfall and temperature will impact on: Location of crops Yield of crops The vast Indo-Gangetic plain produces about 15% of the world's wheat - but the area suitable for growing is forecast to shrink by about half over the next 50 years We will need "climate-proof" crop varieties: flood-tolerant rice, drought-tolerant maize etc. Future impact of climate change on agriculture: Changes in rainfall patterns and intensities will be important with much more variation leading more variable water supplies to farms in the future. as will changes in temperature on the location of agriculture. Increasing temperatures can also affect crops. Photosynthesis slows down as the thermometer rises, which also slows the plants' growth and capacity to reproduce. Research has shown that rice yields are declining by 10% for every degree Celsius increase in night-time temperature. Another projects shows a major decline in South Asia's wheat yield. The vast Indo-Gangetic plain produces about 15% of the world's wheat - but the area suitable for growing is forecast to shrink by about half over the next 50 years. Conversely, rising temperatures will open up areas of the world which are currently too cold for crop cultivation, in regions such as Siberia and northern North America, as the map there illustrates, One study forecasts that wheat will become viable in parts of Alaska. However, various research initiatives are already under way to develop "climate-proof" varieties. For example research is being done on strains of rice which can survive floods of several weeks as serious flooding is forecast to worsen in some Asian countries, notably Bangladesh. However it is still very uncertain, given the limited research to-date and uncertainty of future climate changes what the overall effects of climate change will be on agricultural production. (The stern report!) Source: Map of shifting wheat growing regions Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

17 2) Food Distribution Changes: Globalisation of the food industry
Wider distribution patterns Just-in-time transport ‘Food miles’: The distance food travels between the farmer and the consumer Environmental concerns: CO2 emissions air pollution congestion and noise A recent Defra report looked into the issue of food miles titled ‘the validity of food miles as an indicator of sustainable development’ which contains lots of information - the website is given on the slide. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

18 Supermarkets and Retailing
Supermarkets control 80% of all food sales in the UK (Robinson, 2004:58). Concerns over the environmental and social impacts of their operations are increasingly being articulated. Retailer-controlled contracts dominate farming (Robinson, 2004:79). Supermarkets can increasingly dictate what is grown where and to what quality. Increased food miles: delivery patterns and shopping by car Approximately 70% of primary packaging is used for food and drink which is often discarded in a dirty state and contaminated by residues of the original contents. Consumption – in this realm, supermarkets or multiple-retailers have emerged as key actors in the contemporary food system, controlling 80 per cent of all food sales in the UK (Robinson, 2004:58). Whilst supermarkets offer obvious advantages such as low-prices, convenience and choice, particuarly a year-round supply of fresh fruit and vegetables including those that are ‘out-of -season’, concerns over the environmental and social impacts of their operations are increasingly being articulated. A great read on this topic in a journalistic style is Felicity Lawrences’ book ‘Not on the label’ - an expose on the role of the supermarkets in affecting the food that we eat... I have put the reference in the list at the end... Supermarkets have become key players not only in selling food to the public but also determining the nature and quality of that food via contract links to farmers, processors and packages. Farm-based production can be dominated by the expansion of retailer-controlled contracts or by exerting controls on the quality of production ( Robinson, 2004:79). Supermarkets can increasingly dictate what is grown where and to what quality. Produce that does not reach the quality standards set by the supermarkets is often discarded as waste.The term ‘farm-gate price squeeze’ has evolved in this context to describe the financial difficulties facing farmers from the downward pressure on prices of their produce by the supermarkets. Both the new food delivery patterns where food is shifted thorough supermarket regional centres, and the shift to weekly shopping by car by consumers have increased food miles. The other significant environmental concern is the waste produced from supermarket packaging. Approximately 70% of primary packaging is used for food and drink which is often discarded in a dirty state and contaminated by residues of the original contents. (http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/Packaging.htm) Lawrence F (2004) ‘Not on the label: What really goes into the food on your plate’ London: Penguin Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

19 3) Food Consumption: Security?
Currently there are 852 million food insecure people in the world. Famine and hunger are the result of food insecurity. The Rome Declaration on World Food security acknowledged that ‘Food supplies have increased substantially, but constraints on access to food and continuing inadequacy of household and national incomes to purchase food, instability of supply and demand, as well as natural and man-made disasters, prevent basic food needs from being fulfilled Poverty, conflict, terrorism, corruption and environmental degradation all contribute significantly to food insecurity Food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. FAO (2003) The concern with ‘Food Security’ is one of the most pressing concerns relating to food today. The Food and Agricultural Organisation (the FA0) of the united nations defines food security as existing ‘when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.’ Currently there are 852 million food insecure people in the world. Famine and hunger are the result of food insecurity. As the FAO’ s ‘hunger map’ shows, the majority of undernoursished people live in Africa, with hunger also a significant problem in Asia and parts of Central and South America. (Source: FAO,The Special Programme for Food Security’ at The Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) is the Food and Agriculture Organisations’ flagship initiative for reaching the goal of halving the number of hungry in the world by 2015, a commitment made at the United Nations World Food Summit in Rome in 1996. The Rome Declaration on World Food security acknowledged that ‘Food supplies have increased substantially, but constraints on access to food and continuing inadequacy of household and national incomes to purchase food, instability of supply and demand, as well as natural and man-made disasters, prevent basic food needs from being fulfilled.’ The Declaration recognised ‘Poverty as a major cause of food insecurity and sustainable progress in poverty eradication is critical to improve access to food. Conflict, terrorism, corruption and environmental degradation also contribute significantly to food insecurity. Increased food production, including staple food, must be undertaken. This should happen within the framework of sustainable management of natural resources, elimination of unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, and early stabilization of the world population. (‘http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w3613e/w3613e00.htm) TRADE REFORMS AND FOOD SECURITY Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

20 4) Towards Sustainability
Sustainable food Fair trade Organic Local Integrated Pest Management Genetically Modified crops In recognition of these various environmental and social problems with the contemporary food system attention has turned to developing policy and practical ideas for a more sustainable food and farming system. It’s good news: there are promising alternatives approaches now appearing in our food system! Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

21 Sustainable Food Production
Integrates natural processes such as nutrient cycling, nitrogen fixing, soil regeneration and natural enemies of pests into food production processes Minimises the use of non-renewable inputs that damage the environment or harm human health Makes use of farmers’ knowledge and skills. Helps people work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems (Pretty, 2005:2) What might such a sustainable system look like? And there are several ways we can move towards this: Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

22 ‘Fair Trade’ Small farmers and co-operatives:
Fair-price for their products – often cocoa and coffee beans Plantation and factory workers: Fair wages and decent living conditions Two sets of generic producer standards: small farmers – small holders organised in cooperatives or other organisations with a democratic, participatory structure workers on plantations and factory- organised workers, whose employers pay decent wages, guarantee the right to join trade unions and provide good housing when relevant. Small farmers and co-operatives: Fair-price for their products – often cocoa and coffee beans Plantation and factory workers: Fair wages and decent living conditions The problems experienced by poor producers and workers in developing countries differ greatly from product to product. The majority of coffee and cocoa, for example, is grown by independent small farmers, working their own land and marketing their produce through a local co-operative. For these producers, receiving a fair price for their beans is more important than any other aspect of a fair trade. Most tea, however, is grown on estates. The concern for workers employed on tea plantations is fair wages and decent working conditions. To address this there are two sets of generic producer standards: * small farmers * workers on plantations and in factories The first set applies to smallholders organised in co-operatives or other organisations with a democratic, participative structure. The second set applies to organised workers, whose employers pay decent wages, guarantee the right to join trade unions and provide good housing when relevant. On plantations and in factories, minimum health and safety as well as environmental standards must be complied with, and no child or forced labour can occur. (http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/about_standards.htm) The fair trade mark, as shown on the slide, ‘ is an independent consumer label which appears on products as an independent guarantee that disadvantaged producers in the developing world are getting a better deal’. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

23 Organic Food and Farming
One of the success stories of food production in recent years has been that of organics. Globally, organic food has shown very rapid growth in sales over the last fifteen years. Retail sales in organic food in the UK were worth £1.12 billion in which is a 10-fold increase from £100 million in 1993. The area of land in organic management has also shown similar trends with 60 thousand hectares in organic management or under-conversion in 1997, increasing to 686 thousand hectares by 2004. Organic land is now 4% of total agricultural land in the UK Soil Association (2007) ‘Organic Market Report’ Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

24 ‘Local’ Food Food consumed near to its production: Reducing food miles
Seasonality Connecting consumers with producers Economic benefits to farmers Farm shops / ‘Pick-your-own’ 500 UK Farmer’s markets Box schemes However criticism of organics has been made that it does not guarantee that the food is locally grown, and indeed nearly half of the organic food sold in the UK has been imported from outside Britain. There has been however, a significant increase in the consumption of and political interest in ‘local’ food or what geographers call ‘alternative agri-food networks’. Here the concern is with reducing food miles by having food consumed near to its production. Thus, people focus on eating food that is in season as well as reconnecting consumers with producers and offering economic benefits to farmers who do not lose out financially to other actors in the food system. The more traditional sources of ‘local’ food such as farm shops and pick your own, have been supplemented with a big growth in farmers markets, now 500 in the UK and with a growth in box schemes where ‘local’ food is delivered to consumers houses on a regular basis. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

25 Integrated Pest Management
‘The careful integration of a number of available pest control techniques that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and safe for human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption of agro-ecosystems, thereby encouraging natural pest control mechanisms.’ FAO (website) New strategies to reduce conventional agriculture’s reliance on pesticides Being widely used in the developed and the developing world At the production end, there are new strategies to reduce conventional agriculture’s reliance on pesticides ‘Integrated pest management, or IPM as it is known, is now being widely used in the developed and the developing world. ‘Integrated Pest Management is the careful integration of a number of available pest control techniques that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and safe for human health and the environment. IPM emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption of agro-ecosystems, thereby encouraging natural pest control mechanisms.’ (http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPP/IPM/Default.htm) Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

26 Farm Assurance Schemes
LEAF Marque (www.leafuk.org) LEAF doesn’t prevent farmers from using approved pesticides. It does, however, require them to be used with care and only as part of an integrated pest management strategy Freedom Foods (www.rspca.org.uk) Is an animal-specific assurance scheme covering dairy, laying hens, salmon, beef, pork, lamb and poultry meat). It is a welfare-focused farm assurance scheme Red Tractor Scheme (www.redtractor.org.uk) A logo which indicates that food can be traced back to farms producing under an Assured Food Standards licence. The standards for crops cover all aspects of the production process including cultivations, plant health, harvesting and storage In the UK farms using IPM can be identified in the market place by using the ‘Linking Environment and Farming’ or Leaf mark. This is a certification standard for farmers and growers who are independently inspected. LEAF doesn’t prevent farmers from using approved pesticides. It does, however, require them to be used with care and only as part of an integrated pest management strategy. Other farm assurance schemes for improved environmental performance exist, and are indicated to consumers through labels on food packaging: The RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme is an animal-specific assurance scheme covering dairy, laying hens, salmon, beef, pork, lamb and poultry meat). It is a welfare-focused farm assurance scheme. Freedom Food works with farmers, hauliers, processors and packers to implement the RSPCA species-specific welfare standards. The standards are mandatory, but deliberately practical and achievable for both small and large scale farms. The Red Tractor logo now appears on the packs of nearly £5 billion of British Food. The mark indicates that the food can be traced back to farms producing under an Assured Food Standards licence.The standards for crops cover all aspects of the production process including cultivations, plant health, harvesting and storage. They also cover good practice in relation to protecting the environment.The standards for livestock, poultry and dairy production cover all aspects of the production process including animal movements, housing, feed, animal health and welfare, hygiene and food safety; they also make reference to protecting the environment. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

27 ‘GM’ Crops Genetically-engineered plants have: Herbicide tolerance
Insect resistance Temperature tolerance Drought tolerance Uncertainties! Ignorance – of all possible impacts Indeterminacy – how will plants/products actually be used? Will GM produce food security? Lastly, in agriculture, genetic engineering allows simple genetic traits to be transferred to crop plants from wild relatives, other distantly related plants, or another organism. (DEFRa, 2006) In producing genetically engineered plans in relation to agriculture - the two most widely utilised genetically transplanted characteristics have been herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. With the development of Herbicide tolerance - GM crops can be sprayed with a broad range herbicide that will kill most types of weeds e.g. ammonium glyphosate ‘roundup’ by monsnato. Many types of herbicide tolerant crop are available - corn, (maize) soya, canola (oil seed rape) and sugar beet Gm insect resistance crops exude a toxin in their pollen that kills insects which would otherwise eat the crop. Most popular is cotton but also corn and potato’ It is argued that with the development of Herbicide tolerance, farmers need only spray twice a year with broad spectrum herbicide that kills all types of weed. This reduces spraying quantities and a switch to a less toxic herbicide. It also allows farmers to practice ‘low tillage’ (less ploughing) agriculture that reduces soil erosion. This all benefits the environment and the safety of farmers Opponents on the other hand argue that use of Gm crops has not lead to decreased use of herbicides and indeed may lead to return to more toxic forms as the crops as the weeds become tolerant to the herbicides - the reported problem of ‘superweeds’. They also argue that by killing off weeds more effectively then the supply of food for wildlife, including birds will be reduced With Insect resistance, it is argued that there is a reduced need for pesticides as toxin already in pollen. However opponents argued that, for example in case of corn little pesticide is used anyway. The most high-profile case on the problems with GM insect resistance occurred in the USA when an article in the journal Nature concluded that pollen from insect-resistance corn was toxic to the larvae of the monarch butterfly It has been argued that in the future GM crops can be grown under environmental stresses (e.g. heat, cold and drought) and will help countries (including developing countries) to improve their food security in a way that is affordable and less damaging to the environment However opponents have concluded that GM will not 'feed the world', the current food crisis is a problem of distribution not quantity Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

28 Public Policy: Climate Change Solutions
Make more efficient use of nitrogen fertilizers Stop burning crop residues Cut down on ‘food miles’ to save fuel Cut down on packaging Provide consumers with information geared to change their preferences to local and low-impact products Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

29 4) Public Policy Reform Europe:
Recognising the environmental impacts of over-production through new ‘agri-environment’ schemes: UK - Entry and Higher Level Environmental Stewardship schemes On-going support for organic farmers In Europe, over-production is a problem… The Common Agricultural Policy (the CAP) which historically subsidised farmers according to the amount they produced, and hence encouraged increased production, has come under succsssive criticism since the 1980’s as the environmental impacts of over-production were recognised. In the most recent set of reforms in June 2005, the link between the amount farmers produced and how much subsidy they received was finally broken in a term known as ‘decoupling’. For the time being farmers will be subsidised regardless of what or how much they grow, with the payments based on historic payment rates. This is known as the single farm payment. Also of significance was the introduction in the UK, under these reforms of new ‘agri-environmental’ schemes whereby farmers can receive more financial support for carrying out environmentally beneficial farming practics. There are two new ‘Environmental Stewardship schemes; a basic ‘Entry level’ which will be wide-spread and a higher level which will be applied in areas of environmental priority and will be tailored to local circumstances. Organic farmers will also now receive on-going financial support as part of this scheme. Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

30 UK Policy Reform Policy Commission on Food and Farming (2002) (‘the Curry Report’) Government’s response: ‘Strategy for Sustainable Food and Farming’ (2002) Rise of agenda for ‘Sustainable’ food and farming in the UK e.g. Miliband (2006) ‘ One planet farming’ In the UK, the foot and mouth outbreak of was a significant event for agriculture in the UK. This crisis in agriculture enabled farming to rise up the political agenda and has been described as a watershed event for the sector. Following the outbreak, Tony Blair set up the policy commission on food and farming whose report in 2002 (the Curry report) was shortly followed by the government’s response ‘ a strategy for sustainable food and farming. Both reports described a new vision of UK agriculture as a competitive global farming sector ‘reconnected’ to its market providing food demanded by consumers. The role of government was seen as one of partnership with wide range of actors in the food and farming industries. There would be no support of farmers for production but public money would supports the production of public goods in the countryside. It is clear therefore that there has been a rise in a political agenda for sustainable food and farming in the UK . In his last speech at the national farmers union David Miliband talked of ‘one planet farming’. He made specific reference to climate change, arguing that a reduction in UK agriculture’s contribution to green house gases (about 7% of the UK’s total) should involve a focus on local food and the production of biofuels https://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/publications/auk/seminar/SFFS_Ind.pdf Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

31 Learning Summary The ‘food system’ connects producers and consumers around the globe The environmental, social, and economic impacts of the food system require transport, retailing and consumption to be examined alongside cultivation and production Agricultural diversity is an important resource for future food security So, this lecture has introduced the concept of the food system to look at the different connections between producers and consumers. Food production and consumption are connected particularly between producers in the developing world and consumers in the developed world. Asking how food production might be made more sustainable, we’ve seen a number of initiatives and policy responses have been discussed. Some of these focus on making agriculture itself more sustainable but a move to a more sustainable food system needs to look at the transportation, retailing and consumption aspects as well. Enjoy an ethical lunch… Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources

32 References Barrow, C.J. (2005) ‘Environmental Management and Development’ Routledge Beresford, M. (1975) ‘The 'Technocratic Labor' Thesis: a Critique’ Arena, No. 39 Goudie, A.S. (2006) ‘The Human Impact on the Natural Environment: Past, Present and Future’ Oxford: Blackwell Grigg, D. (1995) ‘An Introduction to Agricultural Geography’ London: Routledge Lawrence, F. (2004) ‘Not on the label: What really goes into the food on your plate’ London: Penguin Pretty, J. (2005) ‘Sustainability in Agriculture: Recent Progress and Emergent Challenges’ Issues in Environmental Science and Technology, No. 21. Sustainability in Agriculture The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2005 Robinson, G. (2004) ‘Geographies of Agriculture: Globalisation, restructuring and sustainability’ Harlow: Pearson Dr Deirdre McKay, Keele University, C-Change in GEES: People and the Environment – Agricultural Resources 32

33 This resource was created by the University of Keele and released as an open educational resource through the 'C-change in GEES' project exploring the open licensing of climate change and sustainability resources in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. The C-change in GEES project was funded by HEFCE as part of the JISC/HE Academy UKOER programme and coordinated by the GEES Subject Centre. This resource is licensed under the terms of the Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/). However the resource, where specified below, contains other 3rd party materials under their own licenses. The licenses and attributions are outlined below: Slide 20: The Fair Trade logo and the Fair Trade Organisation logo are registered trademarks Slide 22: The Freedom Food logo is a registered trademark of the RSPCA charity, and the Assured Food Standards logo is a registered trademark The name of Keele University and its logos are unregistered trade marks of the University. The University reserves all rights to these items beyond their inclusion in these CC resources. The JISC logo, the C-change logo and the logo of the Higher Education Academy Subject Centre for the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -non-commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK England & Wales license. All reproductions must comply with the terms of that license

34 Item Metadata Author Dr Deirdre McKay Stephen Whitfield
Institute – Owner Keele University, School of Physical and Geographical Sciences Title Agricultural Resources: The Food System PowerPoint Presentation Date Created January 2010 Description Agricultural Resources: The Food System - PowerPoint Presentation – Part Four of People and the Environment Educational Level 1 Keywords (Primary keywords – UKOER & GEESOER) UKOER, GEESOER, crop diversity, sustainability, public policy, production, agriculture, agrodiversity, organic, GMOs Creative Commons License Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales


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