Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How the best can be an enemy of the good.

"We’re moving towards not just the animal being organic but the animal’s parents and grandparents. It’s a way of going back up the chain to ensure a pedigree of organic."
"Sooner or later we’ll be looking at how much carbon have we actually managed the sequester in the soil, rather than simply looking, as a first stage, at encouraging the management practices we know will be good for the increasing soil carbon."

says Peter Melchett from Soil Association in an interview. 

None of the things he says is wrong as such. But once put into standards they can give totally absurd results. The organic sector is still suffering from rules about the use of organic seed implemented some ten years ago, and those were still only about the "first generation" seeds. If you extend this to the parent lines of seeds, organic farmers will be out of seeds totally. All this science, e.g. in measuring carbon, means that farms with a varied production systems will have to go through a lot more research than those that have simple systems with just a few crops. I am sure Peter and the Soil Association want to do good, but that are hopelessly stuck in the desire to be best. They sacrifice farmers for fundamentalism in my view. They are not alone though.

No comments:

Post a Comment