Sustainable agriculture, as defined by Congress and many others, has a social leg to balance environmental and economic legs. You're correct that organic markets are open to big players. The assumption of many sus ag proponents, however, is that a sustainable system is one that is relatively equitable, in which disproportionate marketing power doesn't subvert opportunity. A more egalitarian market doesn't necessarily mean inefficiency, IMO, but it would of course require significant political change. Many Europeans are heading in this direction.
Center for Sustainable Systems
433 Chestnut St., Berea KY 40403 USA
Phone: (606) 986-5336; Fax: (606) 986-1299
> Shame on you for saying, "your vision of "organic" agriculture
> is social and political, not biological."
My point is that one of the big drivers behind "alternative", "organic", and
"sustainable" (depending on the definition of sustainable) agriculture is
social and political. For example
> Perhaps Greg's point is better expressed as follows:
> organic production can only be done by real persons
> (who are biological entities) and not by legal constructs
> like corporations (which are as artificial as synthetic
> chemicals and pesticides).
I can assure you and Roberto that "real people" do the work in companies
like Monsanto, Pioneer, Novartis, Bayer, etc., not that these companies have
any interest in producing "organic" crops. Of course, some "companies" do
have an interest. These are "industrial", "chemical" farmers (falsely
characterized IMO) whose companies are mainly successful family farms. This
tendency to dehumanize your opponents is disturbing (but very understandable
in a political sense).
So, if someone like that is successful producing 100 acres of certified
organic onions at a shot and packing them with efficient infrastructure, is
that a problem? To a lot of people this IS a problem because of social and
political issues. These issues are real, and should be discussed as
political and social issues.
> Please to note that we are the ones who have preserved the
> real form of traditional agriculture through the past 60 years
> or so.
That sounds like a social issue to me.
> all the money -hungry yobs want to get a piece of the action
So it is at root an us-them kind of thing? What if those "yobs" are just
"real people" trying to make a living? What you are saying is SATURATED
> And I'll take that $4/hour. It'll be twice what I make now working 80
> hours/week, 9 months/year.
Suppose I do genuine organic agriculture better than you, hire 20 people and
drive you out of business. Does that make me evil? It does bring up
ethical issues of capitalism. But those need to be stated clearly, not
conflated and continually sold as a biological problems.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: