In an ideal world the next generation of farmers will evolve without the pressure from industry to put toxic chemicals on their fields. Then the next generation of children will never need to consume them.
At Gazegill we farm as our grandparents did without the need for chemicals and pesticides. We follow nature proving that we can farm profitably without the need for chemicals.
However, elsewhere the number of chemicals applied to major UK crops is increasing dramatically (although industry claims the opposite). Scientists believe there is no safe lower dose for human exposure, and research shows pesticides are playing a major part in the farmland wildlife crash.
Banning single pesticides results in ban after ban with new pesticides introduced as replacements. What is needed now is a farming system that moves away from relying on pesticides altogether. We need to break that cycle.
For farmers to get off the chemical treadmill there needs to be a significant rethink of our food and farming systems. Producing enough, high quality food without pesticides is definitely possible, as we and organic farmers worldwide have demonstrated. The problem is that under our current economic model it costs more – pesticides don’t carry the costs they incur.
The world is sitting up and taking notice of the landmark glyphosate case in the US which went viral. European countries such as France and Germany are preparing for a ban despite the EU 5 year re-license, and Italy has already banned toxic glyphosate from being used for pre-harvest.
Can we transition our food system for the next generation to one that works with nature, provides a sustainable income for farmers, and maintains a healthy, affordable diet for consumers?