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 clean up the food chain and restore health. In order to do this we need to educate both farmers and consumers (that’s all of us who eat! )
This is a big aim – we realise that – and our first step is to showcase those farmers who are doing it well in order to inspire other farmers to follow suit and consumers to become wholistic food champions!
We cannot do it without you; 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 holistic 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 holistic health management
– A need to identify and explore the success of holistic 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 holistic food production to improve our health
We believe that the need to address these problems is urgent because of:
– The emergence and increase of antimicrobial resistance which is predicted to have a catastrophic impact on our health
– Efforts to suppress, negate and discredit ‘all things natural, holistic, alternative’ instigated by specific corporations and organisations, often proliferated by the media
– 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 holistic 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 holistic, whole farm systems fulfil their potential to have a significant and positive impact on farming and public health.