Food and Fiber Systems

The evidence continues to mount that 20th century corporate industrial agriculture cannot continue. Not only is it exhausting soil fertility, but it is based on nonrenewable fossil fuel inputs and is so toxic it is a leading threat to public health and is contributing to a sixth mass extinction. Organic agriculture is not enough. We need a complete transformation of our food system. Alternatively, food literally falls from the trees, and policy should contribute to a world of abundance and beauty.
The Green Party of California proposes a truly radical transition to a permanent agro- ecology.

The new model of regenerative, permanent agriculture will:

• Implement regional designs that meet human food, fiber and shelter needs equitably while regenerating ecosystems to develop productive capacities and to build local economies and democratic institutions to manage them.

• Legislate diversified (polyculture) agro-ecological systems that conform to specific bioregional, climatic and geophysical contexts.

• Create abundant regional food cultures based on cultivated regionally- appropriate exotic and native species, emphasizing perennial vegetable, fruit and nut crops.

• Elevate soil health, ecosystem integrity, worker safety (see Workplace Safety plank), economic justice and carbon capture as considerations in policy, deemphasizing efficiency and profitability.

• Legislate comprehensive fertility management to end the use of chemical and/or nonrenewable fertilizers (e.g. mined rock phosphate) and to reduce tillage as much as practical.

• Require that farms reduce water use with the goal of ending water subsidies and long distance conveyance (also see the Water plank), through site-specific water-harvesting earthworks, localized surface storage, and storage of water in healthy soils.

• Prohibit corporate ownership of farm lands and transportation/logistics infrastructure.

• Ban the use of synthetic pesticides, seek restitution from corporate polluters and implement Integrated Pest Management strategies and quarantines as appropriate.

• Declare, and legislate accordingly, plant and animal genetics as a global commons, end laboratory-based genetic manipulation and invest in traditional plant breeding operations, particularly for the development of perennial cereals.

A transition to a permanent agriculture will stimulate legislation to:

• Adopt regional or urban plans to eliminate food transport miles and provide for community food equity and sovereignty, and prioritize funding to urban and rural food deserts.

• Decentralize agricultural production, and assist cities, towns and villages to develop productive capacities, with the objective of local and regional self- sufficiency in food and fiber.

• Reduce, with the aim to eliminate, crops grown for export, providing surplus for regional resiliency and humanitarian purposes.

• Develop a reasonable timeline for implementing these policies and phasing-out all corporate agricultural subsidies that include water, fossil fuels, cost-externalized pollution, crop insurance, pesticide and non-natural fertilizer use, etc.

• Train and deploy new farmers and designers, and direct policy to expand food production through intensive, human-scaled management.

• Mandate curricula changes in the University of California Agricultural Colleges, County Agricultural Extensions, and primary/secondary schools to integrate this model, and also create institutional barriers to corporate influence on research agendas.

• Transform agricultural financing to accommodate the new model and assist farmer transitioning and include considerations of debt jubilees, land transfers and trusts, temporary basic incomes, worker safety, and economic justice.

• Direct funding to improve soil health, biodiversity, income stream diversity, to consolidate agricultural production to zones of human settlement, and to withdraw from cultivation those sites that would be better served if restored to natural productive ecosystems (See Land Use plank).


Approved for addition to the GPCA Ecology Platform at the June 2018 General Assembly.