For those who like to listen rather than read -a podcast in Big Ideas – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Discussing largely issues surrounding beef farming and related ‘big ag’ topics – which is a shame. The title should probably be ‘Future of Beef Farming’.
One of the things the participants kept harping on about was the fact 20% of farms producing 80% of commercial produce (the limited picture captured by current statistics). There was a fairly condescending comment by Vicky saying ‘there’s no future in poverty farming’, which I found typical of the current discussion in mainstream media. I fully agree that there is no future in poverty farming. However unlike the seeming consensus in the room I don’t think large scale industrial agriculture is the long term answer. More likely a very short-term view by vested interests with long-term disastrous consequences. The more important question would be why small farms have been driven to such ‘poverty’. The narrow viewpoint of only counting economic output, ignoring the multitude of issues that should be involved in this discussion, is certainly a major contributor. Questions such as environmental costs, social costs, food sovereignty, food quality (rather than quantity at cheapest cost) were not even mentioned.
The discussion seemed to me rather uncritical and had a very high density of ‘wank words‘ specially by the two female participants which were rather hard to distinguish from one another in the podcast. Rather unusual and disappointing for the normally high standards set by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Big Ideas Program.
Another comment that caught my ear was the ‘strong cooperative approach in danish agriculture’. Hear, hear ! Shame that again the discussion drifted into the same old boring ‘marketing’ gibberish.