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Sat Aug 15, 2015, 11:17 PM

New Label Defends Family Farming in Argentina

By Fabiana Frayssinet, IPS News

It’s pouring rain in the capital of Argentina, but customers haven’t stayed away from the Bonpland Solidarity Economy Market, where family farmers sell their produce. The government has now decided to give them a label to identify and strengthen this important segment of the economy: small farmers.

“Our vegetables are completely natural. They are grown without toxic agrochemicals,” farmer Norma Araujo told IPS. She is a member of the Florencio Varela Family Farmers Cooperative, which also sells chicken, eggs, pigs, and rabbits. Across from Araujo’s stand, Analía Alvarado sells honey, homemade jams, cheese, seeds with nutritional properties, natural juices, olive oil, whole grain bread, organic yerba mate – a traditional caffeinated herbal brew – and dairy products. “The idea is to give small farmers a chance, and here we have people from all around the country, who wouldn’t otherwise have the possibility of selling their goods,” Alvarado said.

The Ministry of Agriculture took another step in that direction with the creation in July of the “Produced by Family Farms” label, “to enhance the visibility of, inform and raise awareness about the significant contribution that family farms make to food security and sovereignty.” According to the ministry, there are 120,000 family farms in this country of 43 million people, and the sector is “the main supplier of food for the Argentine population, providing approximately 70 percent of the daily diet.”

In the category of family farmers the government includes peasants, small farmers, smallholders, indigenous communities, small-scale fisher families, landless rural workers, sharecroppers, craftspeople, and urban/suburban producers. In his interview with IPS, Family Agriculture Program Director Raimundo Laugero said the label will not only identify products as coming from the family agriculture sector, but will “guarantee health controls, chemical-free and non-industrial production, as well as production characterized by diversity - unlike industrial farming.”

Laugero noted that besides accounting for 20% of agricultural GDP, family farming in Argentina represents 95% of goat products, 22% of cattle products, 30% of sheep products, 33% of honey, 25% of fruit, 60% of fresh vegetables, and 15% of grains.

“But that doesn’t always translate into profits,” he said. “We need to work hard on those aspects so that income also ends up in the hands of family farmers.”

At: http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/08/new-label-defends-family-farming-in-argentina/

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Reply New Label Defends Family Farming in Argentina (Original post)
forest444 Aug 2015 OP
Judi Lynn Aug 2015 #1

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 04:30 AM

1. Power to the good people. Hope they can build their own way to independence.

It sounds as if this could potentially become a very large movement.

Consumers in Argentina seem concerned with getting true quality in their food products. They appreciate the genuine will the independent small farmers show to provide top quality, clean products which they know are far healthier, more wholesome.

Tremendous ideas are evolving. Wishing them success beyond what their hopes have allowed them to dream.

On edit:

The article says they have to struggle to get their products to market when it rains, as they have only dirt roads to negotiate. We all know the corporation farms haven't had dirt roads to worry about for decades, clearly. They make sure of that.

Same story in so many countries. Some farmers just have given up trying to grow their crops after realizing their pleas to the governments simply fall on deaf ears, and help will not be coming in the form of new roads, or trains, or anything of use for poor people in order to get their products to the cities.

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