Policy

Losing Our Grip How a Corporate Farmland Buy-up, Rising Farm Debt, and Agribusiness Financing of Inputs Threaten Family Farms and Food Sovereignty

The land on which our food is grown is, to a significant extent, owned by local citizens and the families who work that land. This family farm model is widely supported—by farmers and non-farmers alike. But this model is under serious threat of extinction. And the issue goes beyond mere land ownership: the core issue is one of autonomy and control—ensuring that the men and women who produce our food have stable, resilient bases from which to make good, long-term decisions for their farms and for our food systems. This stability and long-term thinking can lead to superior environmental outcomes, more prosperous communities, and the inter-generational transfer crucial to our family-farm model. In working to ensure autonomy and control, the aim is not farmer “independence,” but rather healthy interdependence—the farmer as an integral part of his or her family, community, region, and nation. Our farmers are stewards who need to be free to react to the needs of their soils, animals, families, and neighbours as much as to the dictates of markets, bankers, or agribusiness. If corporations or wealthy investors take control of our land and farms, our food systems and ecosystems will be seriously damaged.

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