The 2011 Aldeburgh Food Conference addressed the sea: its importance to us and the planet, how our activity threatens the sea, and how the sea threatens our life on land – continuing last year’s focus on what needs to change and how. Read the rest of this entry »
Please help us to find out more about public attitudes and experiences of community supported agriculture (CSA) by taking part in one of our brief surveys (even – especially – if you’ve never heard about CSA before):
- If you are not a member of a CSA, please complete this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CSA-non-member-survey
- If you are a member of a CSA, please complete this survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CSA-member-survey
It should only take 5 to 10 minutes. To thank you for your help, you’ll receive a discount code for books from Earthscan, a leading publisher of environmental books, and you’ll be entered into a prize draw for a selection of books.
So what’s this about?
Provenance is working with the Soil Association to research the impact of community supported agriculture (CSA), as part of the Making Local Food Work project to support CSA enterprises across England.
Community Supported Agriculture means any food, fuel or fibre producing initiative where the community shares the risks and rewards of production, whether through ownership, investment, sharing the costs of production, or provision of labour.
Provenance is now working with the Soil Association to evaluate the impact of community supported agriculture and related enterprises, through a phased approach of surveys (of CSAs, their members, and selected non-members), follow-up telephone interviews, and visits to five enterprises to carry out detailed case studies.
The survey and interview phases will be guided by the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach framework, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of CSAs and their members across the full range of social, human, physical, financial and natural capital / assets. The case studies will follow the more structured IDEA method, which can be repeated by the CSAs to measure future progress across economic, environmental and social criteria.
The results will be used to compile a full final report, summary report, and targeted factsheets for specific audiences – policymakers, funders, the media, CSA participants. We will also be providing feedback to individual CSAs on the findings from their members and local non-members (without any identification of individuals), which should be useful in guiding their future development.
We will shortly be contacting CSAs and their members across England to invite them to take part in our initial surveys. If you are involved with a CSA and would like to participate, please contact us.
Provenance is delighted to be continuing to work with Defra, as Nick Saltmarsh has resumed the editing of SD Scene, the Government’s sustainable development newsletter.
Here’s the brief editorial intro from the recent newsletter:
After our break during the election and first months of the Coalition Government, SD Scene is back online and will be once again arriving in your in-boxes each month.
As the Government affirms its commitment to sustainable development and sets out its approach, we’ve articles this month on the developing relationship between the public sector, civil society and sustainable development.
Peter Madden, of Forum for the Future, considers the public sector’s record in embracing sustainable development and the greater potential to deliver public value. The Sustainable Development Commission watchdog report on sustainability in Government identifies significant progress and savings with opportunities for much more.
Meanwhile, Mike Perry, of the Plunkett Foundation, asks if community-ownership provides a big answer for the Big Society. The Sustainable Development Commission finds in The Future is Local that empowered communities can effectively deliver sustainable development at a local level.
In the latest edition of the Ecologist Sir Julian Rose, pioneering organic farmer and owner of the Hardwick Estate, asks if organic farming has “sold out and lost its way”. Rose argues that organic production has gone from being the practical manifestation of an ecological and social movement to a marketing opportunity for the supermarkets and agribusiness:
“What ‘organic food’ and its localised market was in those days bears little resemblance to ‘the industry’ that it is today: an industry that is heavily and centrally policed, has a compendium of regulations and is ‘big business’ on a global scale.”
Last week Provenance was invited to attend a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development (APPG). The subject of the meeting was agroecology, a systems approach to agriculture born of ecology and taking into account sustainability, resilience and equity as well as production.
The speakers, Prof. Martin Wolfe, Patrick Mulvany, Dr. Julia Wright and Dr. Michel Pimbert, argued that taking an agroecological approach to agriculture could help address environmental issues while maintaining and increasing food production: indeed, this was a key finding of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), which DFID Ministers approved in June 2008. Read the rest of this entry »
As well as being one of the founding partners of Provenance, I’m also a director of ECCE-Bio, a network of European organic producer co-operatives. The network has taken some time to find its feet – not helped by the current economic climate – but is beginning to make contact with other farmer groups, CSOs and government organisations and intends to develop a a useful programme of work at its AGM in Rome this April. Provenance hopes to be able to support ECCE-Bio in this work over the next year.
As I’ll be writing about some of the activities ECCE-Bio is involved in over the next few months I thought some background information would be helpful. Read the rest of this entry »
Provenance is proud to have worked with Defra’s Sustainable Development Programme on the relaunch of SD Scene, an e-newsletter reporting the latest news and progress in sustainable development, from across government and from local, regional, national and international businesses and organisations.
Provenance has also developed a new website for SD Scene. Sitting within the Sustainable Development Programme website, the dynamic SD Scene section allows frequent updates and user comment and discussion. Read the rest of this entry »
Best wishes for a delicious Christmas and a fruitful New Year from William, Josiah and Nick at Provenance.
I keep hearing the “Sustainability” word used a lot to describe an aspiration for the sort of food that people would like to buy. There is no definition of sustainability apart from the thee columns that are supposed to support the concept: environmental, economic and social. For many years the economic criteria has been use to define a good buy: ie the cheapest is the best, but the two other columns are now more considered, environmental and social. It is no good buying the cheapest if the purchase damages the environment and peoples lives. Read the rest of this entry »