For millennia, farming worked in harmony with nature. However, one human lifetime ago, things changed dramatically: farming became dominated by industrial agriculture. Farmed animals were separated from the land: crops grown in monocultures using artificial fertilisers and chemical pesticides: nature swept away. The unintended consequences of this switch have been profound: deforestation, biodiversity loss and soil degradation, threatening not only future harvests but also the planet. In Europe, this damaging industrial revolution of the countryside has been aided and abetted by the EU’s monolithic subsidy system, the Common Agricultural Policy: though the present Commission is attempting to reform this. We need to reconnect food production and nature through regenerative farming, combined with more balanced diets.
Speaker: Philip Lymbery (Compassion in World Farming)
Discussant: Tim Lang (City University of London)
Chair: David Madden (St Antony’s College, Oxford)