Friday, 16 March 2018

Sidmouth Climate Week >>> “In Our Hands”

Last night, the climate week put on a showing of the new documentary 'In our Hands', looking at how the small farm can help with food security and climate change:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Climate Week >>> Thursday 15th March >>>>> “In Our Hands”, showcasing small-scale ecological farming in Devon and beyond

Some very pertinent statistics and revealing information came up during the show: 

Facts from the film

If the Monsanto/Bayer merger goes ahead, the combined company would control 29% of the global seed market.
Mother Jones

In 2013, Monsanto, Dupont and Syngenta controlled 55% of the global seed market.
Financial Times

Dupont, the second largest seed company, controls 21% of the global seed market.

Monsanto has filed 175 lawsuits against farmers since 1990.
Susan A Schneider, Food, Farming, and Sustainability, pp. 583-84 (2011), Monsanto , Wikipedia .

70% of the world’s food is produced on small farms.

Britain currently imports 85% of its fresh fruit.
Science Policy Research Unit - University of Sussex

80% of the UK’s bread is produced through the industrial Chorley Woods process.

Landowners receive approximately £250 per hectare for owning their land through the Single Farm Payment.
The Land Magazine

The UK has 3,500 varieties of apple.
Quadram Institute

8 Supermarkets control 95.8% of grocery retail in the UK.
Kantar Worldpanel

Links and further reading

In Our Hands is a movement building tool that is part of much wider struggle in this country and beyond for a fair a sustainable food system. Below are links to some of the organisations and projects of our friends and co-workers.

The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA)
The small scale farmers union that’s working for food sovereignty in the UK

La Via Campesina
The global union that unites 200 million farmers worldwide

The UK Food Sovereignty Movement
The movement combining multiple UK based organisations working for food sovereignty

Making Food Sovereignty a Reality: Recommendations for Post-Brexit Agricultural Policy
A Landworkers’ Alliance post Brexit policy report.

The People’s Food Policy
The collaborative attempt on behalf of food and farming organisations to create a unified set of food policies for the first time since the second world war.

Research into the productivity of small farms in the UK
A submission to the Oxford Real Farming Conference

Resources | In Our Hands

And here are the people who took part in the film: 


The Real Seed Catalogue

A family business. The company was started by Kate & Ben many years ago and has grown with the addition of more people over time. We started growing in Cambridge in the 1990s, later moved to Spain for seven years, and are now based on a small farm in Wales, with our office in town nearby.

Grown in Totnes

Grown in Totnes attempts to set a standard for 'local'. Is it enough that a local restaurant purchases meat from a local butcher? It’s a start, but we would like to see that butcher sourcing meat from within 30 miles to follow the concept through the whole food


At Greenway, we graze our animals as they would have done naturally in the wild, using “Holistic Planned Grazing” where they spend all year outside in the meadows, moving on to new grass while the rest of the meadows grow lush and plentiful. The 125 acres of permanent pastures and herbal leys are situated on the south side of Herne Hill, near the historic town of Ilminster in Somerset.

Street Goat

What would it look like for the UK to be producing all of our food ...... Street Goat is exploring one part of one answer to this question. We want to sustainably manage urban trees and shrubbery so that they provide valuable wildlife habitats and food in a more holistic way. Why not harvest summer leaves for feed? Why not graze summer grass instead of mowing in May? Why not feed some of the wholesalers waste to animals instead of binning it? 

Street Goat is inspired by local solutions to global questions. All around the world people are working to reclaim a food system that works for them. A food system for people, not merely for the profit of multinational corporations. A food system that regenerates the planet, instead of destroying it.

Sheffield Organic Growers

Four independent organic growers, on a 12-acre site, situated in the beautiful Moss Valley on the outskirts of Sheffield. Growing a range of vegetables, fruit and herbs, for sale through independent grocers and veg bag schemes all based in the city of Sheffield.


OrganicLea connects our day-to-day work to a wider vision for a more just and sustainable food system. We are proud to be active members of a range of local, national and international networks that share our goal of promoting food sovereignty.

North Aston Dairy

North Aston Dairy has been supplying milk to surrounding villages and into Oxford since 2006, when the first three cows were bought and milked in a refurbished barn. The dairy now has 17 Ayrshire milking cows and several more young stock.


The Peasant Evolution Producers’ Co-Operative (PEPC) is a collective of small-scale producers in West Dorset, South Somerset and East Devon who have joined together to help each other make a viable living off the land. We believe that being a peasant is a way towards the future. We promote organic farming and sustainable land management, fairtrade, rural crafts and handmade, healthy local food.


Caerhys Organic Community Agriculture (COCA) is an agricultural scheme run for and supported by the local community. COCA members share delicious organic food grown in partnership with local farmers.

Stories | In Our Hands

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