If a country passes laws which make sustainable farming
impossible what happens? They eliminate profitable
sustainable farmers. They do not eliminate sustainable
farming, only the profit. True, not many people would be
interested in sustainable farming, but people could continue
to farm for other reasons.
If you say profit has to be included in the definition of
sustainable farming then each rule change or law can impact
the definition of sustainable farming. Anything that
impactes the profit could force farmers into unsustainable
practices. They would be forced to change the definition of
sustainable farming to restore profits.
This isn't saying we should forget about profit, just that
somewhere in the middle of this issue is where we want to be.
Yes, we want to find ways to be profitable. Yes, we want to
be clear what sustainable farming is and keep it separate from
politics. Yes, we have to live in the present world and the
farmer has bills to pay. Yes, we want to encourage economic
rules that make sustainable farming possible.
If we look at the history of farming here in America there
are several very disturbing trends. One is the gradual
elimination of small farms. The other is increased
specialization and fewer diversified farms. Both of these
trends are driven by a profit motive. Economic thinking has
been selling the idea that bigger is more efficient and the
cheapest product wins. Well... it has been winning and it
is time we changed the rules not the definition of
jeff owens, email@example.com, http://www.xprt.net/~jko
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