FOOD SYSTEM NETWORK
We see ourselves as a tiny part of a huge system of food producers and food ‘eaters’
that is just beginning to develop its own "consciousness". Those of us around the
world who have been working for many years on our various small and large projects
are just beginning to find one another. A network is emerging and ‘neural pathways’
are forming which are allowing us to ‘think big.’ We are still very much at the stage
of becoming aware of each other’s issues and perspectives. What do steelworkers
have in common with environmentalists? What differences? What do shrimp fishers
in India have in common with coffee farmers in Colombia.
How can we work together to help each other achieve our goals and to resolve our
differences? International dialogues between the ‘intellectual’ elements of all these
disparate groups are addressing this question. This is important because it gives us
hope that what evolves will have some coherent consciousness, which will be able
to come up with some sensible solutions to our various problems.
But just as important is for those of us ‘on the ground’ to make those connections in
our own local situation. We at Swanton Berry Farm try to deal with the full range of
‘barriers’, which often divide us from our neighbors. Can we deal with labor issues and
economic issues? Can we create an organization which does this on an ongoing basis
without self-destructing? So far we seem to have been successful at beginning to deal
with all this at once. Twenty-three years, after all, is just a beginning.
Swanton Berry Farm is committed to contributing to this dialogue. In this vein, you
might want to look at Jim’s concept piece on an alternative food system, “A New
Architecture for the California Food System.”
Swanton Berry Farm, P.O. Box 308, Davenport, CA 95017 | (831)469-8804 | Web Design: Dov Bock © 2005