Yes, this week is National Ag Week, a recognition and celebration of agriculture in the United States. Throughout the week, our strategic partner in Minnesota, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is sharing their excellent investigative work, analysis and campaigns to move toward a fairer and sustainable agricultural system in the U.S. and around the world.
Today, Tuesday, the focus is on Industrial Livestock, an area that our 2016 PCUSA General Assembly acted on in the resolution ‘On Advocacy Against Factory Farming’. IATP summarizes the topic below and the Tuesday link takes you to their excellent web materials.
Monday—Agriculture and Trade
Thursday—Community Food Systems
Friday—Agriculture and Climate
Industrial-scale livestock production is a major factor in warming our planet. Through first-of-its kind research with GRAIN, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy calculated greenhouse gas emissions totals for some of the world’s largest meat and dairy corporations, and the findings were astounding.
The world’s five largest meat and dairy companies (JBS, Tyson, Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America and Fonterra) combine to emit more planet-warming greenhouse gases than ExxonMobil, or Shell, or BP. The twenty largest companies combine for more emissions than Germany, or Canada, or Australia.
But agricultural and climate solutions exist outside of this industrial, factory farm system of raising livestock. Changing policies at the state, national and international level will be necessary to transition toward an agricultural system that reduces emissions and is climate resilient.
A shift toward just, ecological and healthy agriculture can continue to feed the planet without the severe environmental impacts. Through advocating for strong implementation of the Paris Climate Accord, such as at COP 24 in Poland, and through local initiatives that protect farmers, farm workers, consumers and the ecosystem, IATP is working toward a long-lasting, conscientious food system.