Key problems in food systems are linked to industrial agriculture:


Photo credit: Food Tank

Claiming that there is no alternative to industrial agriculture is no longer viable in 2016.

How to Leave Industrial Agriculture Behind

Contrary to what we often hear, it is not a lack of evidence holding back ecological alternatives in food systems. It is the mismatch between their huge potential to remedy the problems caused by industrial agriculture, and their much smaller potential to generate profits for agribusiness firms.

Many of the key problems in food systems are linked specifically to industrial agriculture: uniform crop monocultures relying on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and industrial feedlots (the infamous ‘CAFOs’) that use preventive antibiotics and generate major pollution problems.

The evidence is now overwhelming: industrial agriculture is a key contributor to the rampant biodiversity losses now threatening the 35 percent of global crops dependent on pollination, the degradation of some 20 percent of global land, the 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions arising from food and farming, and many other negative outcomes in food systems.

Thanks to the work of campaigning groups and scientists, these problems are now increasingly understood. However, we are much less familiar with a set of equally important facts and figures about the potential of ecological farming to remedy these problems.

The report just released by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) synthesizes the growing evidence on this front, for example:

Read the full article: Food Tank


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.