INDUSTRIAL AGRI-FOOD COMPLEX
Military scale supply chains are needed today to keep the supermarket shelves filled. This complex industrial production – transportation – distribution system connects farmers in developing countries with rich country consumers.
Guess who benefits the most from this system?
The INDUSTRIAL AGRI-FOOD COMPLEX has key features that identify it. This is also what needs to be changed:
CORPORATIONS ARE ON TOP
No Consumer – Farmer Interactions
EXPORT – IMPORT FOCUSED
Industrial Chemicals Are Used To Produce Food
ONLY CORPORATIONS PROFIT
Cheap Industrial Food Has Low Nutrient Density
STRONG GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
Cheap industrial food imports do not support family health, as the epidemic of obesity in Canada clearly shows. Low prices to farmers and increasing expenses, like fertilizers and pesticides and GMO seeds, are destroying the farm sector in Canada. Industrial agri-food contaminates the bioregion with toxins that show up in us.
The 2016 census showed a -5.3% growth rate in farms across Canada (a decline) but this turned into a -11.9% collapse in BC. We now have the lowest number of farmers in BC since 1921 ! Along with this decline of industrial farms comes a serious reduction in our ability to feed ourselves. A 2016 study noted that 87% of the vegetables eaten in BC are imported. That means BC only has 13% vegetable food security (Agriculture’s Connections to Health, 2016 PHSA)
At the same time that chemical farm numbers were declining across Canada and in BC, there was still a small increase of certified organic farms with 0.4% growth across Canada and 0.2% in BC.
Industrial agri-food is not sustainable as the steep decline in farm numbers indicates. Biological food production works but so far, we are doing it only on a very small scale. How do we scale up organic local vegetable production in BC? Answering that question is worth hundreds of millions a year for BC.