Organic hope for Poland?

Holiday on a Polish organic farm

Poland stands as the connecting point between two worlds. To the west, a fully developed, post industrial society now counting the cost of ‘living beyond its means’. To the east, a massive and hungry continent struggling to attain living standards comparable to its western counterparts. Between these two extremes, at a delicate point of equilibrium, is the Polish phenomenon. A country of 40 million people with 26% of its working population still farming the land. A land rich in biodiversity and cultural expression, divided up into thousands of little farms averaging just 7 ha (16 acres) each in size.

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Poland and Peasants

Polish Peasants v. Brussels Bureaucrats
By Julian Rose

Anyone who has visited Poland will have been struck by the thousands of little strips of land that criss-cross the countryside from North to South and from East to West. They may also have noticed the occasional prairie-like expanse, without a tree to be seen in any direction. The contrast is explained by history. Peasant farmers have traditionally owned their land in Poland and mostly continue to do so, dominating the landscape with their patchwork farms. However, invaders of the last century and since 1989, predatory transnational corporations, have ensured that some of the best land has fallen into foreign hands. Monocultures and asset stripping have followed. It is of note that the Communists failed to ‘factory farm’ much of Poland in the manner achieved in other eastern bloc countries such as Hungary and Czech. On the land, the Poles survived the worst of nationalisation and came through with much of their traditional lifestyle intact.

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British Farmer leads Countryside protest in Warsaw


Press Release 11 September 2001

“British Farmer leads Countryside protest in Warsaw”

Sir Julian Rose and Jadwiga Lopata, the British and Polish directors of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, will be leading a protest in Warsaw on 19 September, to highlight the need for the Polish Government to adopt policies that ensure the future around two million of Poland’s farms.

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Response to article “Museum or a Place to Live” by Edmunt Szot

Edmunt Szot has written intelligently in his critique of ICPPC’s Charter 21 – Countryside Manifesto for 21st Century Poland. However, the remedial suggestions he proposes are very unlikely to achieve the results he expects.

Firstly I would like to point out that, contrary to Mr Szot’s allegation, ICPPC is concerned to protect the countryside in all countries of Europe and beyond. Its membership includes individuals from 12 countries working on similar campaigns. Some, such as Rumania, are adopting Charter 21 to suit their own political circumstances. Traditional family farms still exist in varying degrees in every country, but in Poland they represent a particularly strong part of the countryside tradition. This means that there is both more to gain and more to lose where Polish rural policy decisions are concerned.

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