An international bi-annual event entitled “World Farmers Congress” is being held in Warsaw and surrounds 30 May to 7 June 2008. Neither ICPPC nor the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland have been invited.
Who is behind this event?
Two organisations have their names prominently featured: The International Federation of Agricultural Producers (FIPA) and The National Union of Farmers, Circles and Agricultural Organisations (KR). Both these organisations support mainstream, agrichemical/GMO farming practices and trading commodities on the global “free” market. The programme, which can be accessed on Google (type in world farmers congress) includes a presentation from Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank; Crawford Falconer, chairman of the Agricultural Negotiations Committee of the World Trade Association and Donald Tusk.
While there are some discussions on the Convention on Biodiversity and on Climate Change, no space is reserved for organic and traditional agriculture, small scale farming models (much of Poland and much of the world) or localised trading initiatives: all these areas are cited as crucial to feeding growing world populations in “The International Assessment of Agriculural Knowledge Science and Technology for Development”* the recently released global scientific report on the state of planetary food production. A report which also declares “Biotechnology does not provide the solution”.
It seems that Mr Tusk, and his minister of Agriculture, are intent on ushering in an era of large scale, high tech food production, and (like the EU) see no place for the majority of Poland’s one and a half million small family farms, that form the backbone the Country’s enviable reputation for high quality, flavourful and highly nutritious GMO free foods.
“The World Farmers Congress is clearly a respectable ‘front’ for global agribusiness as usual. At a time of rapidly rising world food and oil prices and cosequential hardship for the world’s poor, what is needed is a radical reassessment of the way we grow and distribute food. All the signs are that well managed ecological farms, that meet the immediate needs of local and regional food markets, are the surest way to raise both farmers and consumers out of the poverty trap.” Said Sir Julian Rose, President of the International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside and committee member of the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland.
note for editors: the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development is a global multistakeholder project initiated by the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2002.
Sir Julian Rose on the name of ICPPC(*) and the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland (**)
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