We believe our future health depends on the health of the food we produce and eat. With this in mind, Whole Health Agriculture (WHAg) is committed to:
• Investigate and document farm health management practices that refine or reduce antibiotics and synthetic chemicals in the food chain and on the land.
• Champion farmers and growers who use wholistic farming* practices, and empower them through knowledge exchange on best practice.
• Raise public awareness of the benefits and importance of wholistically produced food.
*Wholistic farming avoids synthetic drugs and toxic chemicals, and fosters natural resilience and vitality in livestock and crops, working with, rather than against, nature. Critically, these approaches protect our health.
Our 'Natural Health Service'?
Wholistic Farming could be our ‘natural health service’. Most farming and food production systems – even organic – do not currently prioritise health; moreover, industrialised agriculture has led us in an entirely unhealthy direction, resulting in:
– antibiotic resistance via intensive livestock systems
– food that is low in nutritional value, high in toxic residues
– disconnection between farmers and their communities
– environmental and planetary damage
We are starting to see challenges to conventional farming attitudes and practices but we are a long way from fully joined up thinking in terms of what is really ‘healthy’ in farming and food production.
WHAg is on a Mission
Our ultimate aim is to show the potential and credibility of wholistic farming to help clean up the food chain and restore health to the land. In order to do this we need to engage farmers and citizens
This is a big aim – we realise that – and our first step is to discover exactly what it is that the successful farmers are doing, in order to help and encourage other farmers to adopt best practice; and to inspire the public to support these farmers and to champion wholistic farming and growing methods.
We cannot do it without you; whether you are a farmer, grower, producer, or a concerned citizen, we need you to join our community (it’s free!) so that we can demonstrate that there is support for this important initiative.
WHY THE NEED?
Having been engaged for many years in the development of alternative agriculture and food systems, we are aware of several underlying and longstanding needs which need to be addressed. These include:
– A need for consistent and effective support within the industry for farmers and growers – conventional and organic – who choose an alternative and/or wholistic approach to farm health management
– A need for synergy and coherence within the ‘alternative’ farming movement in the development and practice of ‘whole farm’ or wholistic health management
– A need to identify and explore the success of wholistic health approaches to provide a framework for development and knowledge transfer.
– A need to increase public awareness (including within the food & farming sector, the media, and the medical & veterinary professions) about the success and potential of wholistic food production to improve our health
We believe that the need to address these issues is important because of:
– The emergence and increase of antimicrobial resistance which is predicted to have a catastrophic impact on our health
– A lack of transparency around food production which denies people the freedom to make informed choices, eg Glyphosate, GM, etc
We have concluded that in this situation;
a) the failure to recognise wholistic livestock health approaches as a valid and valuable strategy is a dereliction of duty on the part of the relevant authorities,
b) a new initiative to bring collaboration, coherence and a robust higher profile is needed to ensure that wholistic or whole farm systems fulfil their potential to have a significant and positive impact on farming and public health.