[permaculture] Sust Ag standard moves intohighgear]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Thu Oct 2 22:02:40 EDT 2008

steveread wrote:
> I expect Lawrence included the text for information only maybe? Not as promotion.

Mais oui. Purely for evaluation purposes only. Actually I posted it for those in this list who practice
permaculture and are involved in farming for income or as part of a permaculture system they have devised for their farm 
and for their table. I did not read the whole post before Xposting here but it did look worthwhile mostly because it 
offers an alternative to government-owned certified organic labelling. There is a big movement promoting
Sustainably Grown and that is very useful for growers seeking market access who can't afford the time and expense of
getting organically certified. I never expected anyone would try to develop standards for sustainable labelling but I 
support this wholeheartedly. One reason to get behind this effort is that the US Congress can change the rules defining 
USDA Certified Organically Grown. Many opposing the sustainable label, including USDA employees (and Organic Trade 
Association (OTA) supporters and members; Organic Consumers Association (OCA) opposes Congress interfering in the 
process and supports small local farming) are ones who are on record as having supported earlier efforts by Congress to 
make changes in the Organic Rule that favors, not small independent, local farmers, but big corporations and processors,
rule changes that increase corporate profits at the expense of food quality). I favor helping the cause of farmers using 
the Sustainable Grown label. The primary focus should be on locally produced, sustainably grown for local sales. 
Consumers should not need a piece of paper from the government in order to be able to make the decision as to who they
will buy their food from. They should have complete access to local farms for their food needs. They can contact and 
inspect any and all of those farms should they desire to know how their food is produced or have any doubts or 
questions. Keeping grocery money in local economies is important, especially these days. A farmer should not have to say 
more than "I use sustainable methods and materials on my market farm". This implies that no products in all categories 
of pesticides are used and no chemical or synthetic or man-made fertilizers are used on that farm. Developing a standard
to define and promote Sustainably Grown is a good thing for all. Leonardo seeks a ANSI standard for sustainably grown. 
April Kelly, years ago, mentioned seeking ISO certification for permaculture. So, are either of these standards 
applicable to the practice of permaculture and market farming?
Now whether the Leonardo Academy is doing a proper job with this is another matter; we will see. I will give them the 
benefit of the doubt for the time being. It is for sure that there are many involved with the Organic Rule that are not 
necessarily in support of full sustainability in agriculture nor the well being of small, independent farmers who sell 
locally only and support in every sense local sustainability, local economies and fair and just political and economic 
systems that seek to make this happen. The OTA is not for the consumer and the small, local, sustainable farmer, 
especially those who have not sought Organic certification. Support for the OTA is the default option in the USDA as far 
as I can tell.

Are there any farmers in this list other that Sal and I? Sal is organic and I am sustainable; we both farm exactly the 
same way.

> I have found that there are vanishingly few people who can define sustainable, even those working for a really good future. 
> Perhaps we could come up with a really good one, maybe basing it on mollisons "provices for its own needs"?

Add some of the above if it fits.


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