Farms factories

March 20, 2016

Library: Farms, Factories

featured-imageFarms Not Factories is a non-profit organisation working through film-making and campaigning to support the ‘food sovereignty’ movement by exposing the true costs of cheap meat from animal factories in order to inspire people to only buy meat from local, healthy, high welfare farms.

Our long term vision is a world without animal factories*.

*Animal factories can be defined as indoor facilities in which overcrowding and lack of bedding means that the animals suffer stress and disease, are prone to tail biting and have to be routinely given antibiotics.

  • Threats to public health through antibiotic over-use
  • Undermining of real farmers and rural economies
  • Destruction of local environments, watercourses and precious ecosystems for feed production, and resource over-use
  • Animal abuse through confinement, mutilation, exploitation, neglect and denial of natural behaviours
  • The globalisation of our livestock system and the resulting loss of food sovereignty

Factory farming of any species is wrong. Our focus on pigs is designed to bring to light an issue about which there is insufficient public awareness, using our specific expertise developed from years of film-making.

We work collaboratively with other groups who focus on other important areas of work – such as policy change, supporting producers and campaigning locally to provide content, support their work and spread a shared message through film.

Some background

Tracy Worcester first set out to make a short film for BBC West on the industrial pig business in 2004. Ten years, nine Pig Business feature-length films and over one million views later, Farms Not Factories has been able to inform the wider public about intensive, industrial pig farming and resource local communities with a valuable tool for opposing existing and proposed pig factory farms.

PB-logosmallPig Business is our feature length film documenting Tracy Worcester’s exploration into the origin of ‘cheap’ pork and the rise of factory pig farming. This farming system often operates where labour is cheapest, animal welfare and environmental standards lowest and corporate subsidies highest. Pork produced this way floods every mass retail market in the world at the expense of high welfare pig farmers. The resulting profits line the pockets of just a handful of massive corporations and their powerful lobbyists.

Farms Not Factories within the food movement

Farms Not Factories is the only group within the UK food movement with a specific focus on the issue of factory pig farming, around which it has developed an extensive knowledge base and communications expertise. Its major contribution is the Pig Business film series, which enables viewers in over 35 countries to learn about the global industrial pig industry, and necessary responses to it.

Unlike many other groups campaigning on animal factories, Farms Not Factories does not focus exclusively on a single outcome – instead seeking to link together the themes of public health threats, economic undermining of local farming, environmental degradation and animal welfare in a way that is clear to the public.

Coupled with a developed political and economic analysis of the causes and effects of intensive livestock farming, this means Farms Not Factories is well placed to contribute effectively to the international food movement organising around the principle of ‘food sovereignty’.

Food sovereignty presents a framework for creating an alternative to the dangerous trend of increasing corporate control over food and the economic, social and environmental consequences it brings. The term was coined in 1996 by members of global peasant organisation La Via Campesina, the world’s largest social movement, incorporating 200m members from 183 organizations in 88 countries.

In its most basic sense food sovereignty asserts the right of people to define their own food systems. It:

  • Focuses on food for people
  • Values food providers
  • Localises food systems
  • Puts control locally
  • Builds knowledge and skills
  • Works with nature

Farms Not Factories’ is able to move consumers from a position of relative ignorance about pork production towards understanding the need for the solutions framed by food sovereignty. It therefore plays a crucial educational role in shifting public consciousness – aiding efforts to build strong public support for policy change that can support a transition to real farming and sustainable agriculture.

Farms Not Factories is well networked with food groups in the UK, Europe and North America, with contacts in Latin America also. This enables it to play a role in maintaining important international communication about global problems and solutions.

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