Orbifx's logarion

Megafarms

| | | topics: environment | keywords: farming, food
id: 6dd47127-5d1a-4238-8609-dc915702221d

I read https://theconversation.com/rise-of-the-megafarms-how-uk-agriculture-is-being-sold-off-and-consolidated-104019. It's a 5 minute read. Below are the key points, but consider reading the article.

If you were to visit the English countryside 15 years ago, you would have found nine times as many small farms as you do today

It appears that landowners will receive support [from Defra] for either increasing productivity, or improving the environment – but not necessarily both at the same time. This either-or approach could usher in a new era of environmentally destructive “megafarms”.

the largest [megafarms] of which can “process” more than a million chickens per week.

Notice the word choice here, "process". Let's not offend anyone by calling it a massacre.

Megafarms have been responsible for pollution to rivers and waterways. Animals are often fed with imported corn and soya, the majority of which is genetically modified to withstand high doses of the controversial herbicide glyphosate. Industrial-scale horticulture operations tend to rely on imported minerals for plant feed, use significant amounts of energy for heating and produce a low diversity of crops.

Research shows that conservation areas cannot make up for the environmental damage of intensive farms. Even if megafarms were interspersed within vast landscapes of parks and woodlands, it still wouldn’t help.

Bagless vacuum cleaner inventor James Dyson is now one of the UK’s largest agricultural landowners.

Which is why I won't be buying anything Dyson.

One of the main reasons why megafarms have become popular and smaller farms have gone under is because farms only receive a small fraction of the retail value of food.

My understanding from this and other readings is that the few super-markets can form a cartel against farmers, effectively forcing them to low margins. My view is that with us shopping via super-markets we are damaging small scale farming.