Hundreds of people took the streets of London yesterday (14 October) to call for a better food and farming system in the UK and give small farmers a voice in the new Agriculture Bill.
The Good Food March began at Parliament Square in Westminster and proceeded through the city to Southbank. It was organised by leading food campaign groups and unions, including The Landworkers’ Alliance, The Soil Association and The Gaia Foundation, and had an emphasis on inclusivity in the future of food, stating that “anyone who grows, distributes, prepares, or eats food has a stake in the food system.”
“As the UK prepares to leave the EU and the Agriculture Bill is being finalised we need to ensure farmers are able to produce nutritious, ecological and healthy food and that everybody has access to it,” the group said.
Despite the poor weather, a colourful procession followed a tractor through the streets, with marchers holding slogans such as ‘Resistance is Fertile’ and ‘Hoes before GMOs’.
The march was addressed by Jyoti Fernandez of The Landworkers’ Alliance, who also spoke at a launch event for We Feed the World photography exhibition on the future of food systems after Brexit. She said: “We’re pulling out of the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy, what happens now will affect agriculture for at least the next 50 years. We need to let them know that the public does know and it does care about the future of food.”
Taking place just ahead of World Food Day on 16 October, the march was part of a 10-day series of events to celebrate small farmers across the world and discuss possibilities around the future of food and farming in the UK once it leaves the EU.
The We Feed the World photography exhibition is currently on show at the Oxo Tower in London, featuring 50 small farming communities from around the world, with simultaneous exhibitions taking place globally making it the largest global photography initiative ever attempted.