Agriculture on a small scale: Terra Bene Comune (The Land is a Common Good) Document

The acronym GAS stands for Gruppo di acquisto solidale [Fairtrade purchasing group]. It refers to groups of people who get together in order to buy products, generally food, on the basis of the sustainability and equitability of those products. We present an initiative taken by a series of GAS in the Marche region who decided to apply to the regional authorities for formal approval of a law to recognize and promote small-scale local farming.

This is their petition.

Given that

– farming, a primary and substantial sector in the lives of everybody cannot be considered simply the production of “goods” because the act of eating well is the basis of health,

– the land is a “common good” to be protected and preserved to ensure the survival of future generations,

We strongly desire,

– to take care of our environment, supporting small-scale agriculture, an agriculture that is “resident”, resilient and that protects and safeguards our land;

– an agriculture that “saves” and protects natural and water reserves;

– an agriculture that is diversified and maintains biodiversity while preserving the beauty of the landscape;

– an agriculture that is aware of the climate change that is underway, and is capable of developing measures to mitigate and adapt to it;

– an agriculture that does not use artificial pesticides, that follows the principles of organic farming and agroecology more generally;

– an agriculture that is based on families and communities and that creates bonds and sociality, while passing on traditions and knowledge;

– sustainable livestock farming that takes account of animal welfare;

– healthy food whose place of production is known and familiar, and that brings with it as added value a solid relationship of trust between the farmer and consumers;

– an agriculture that favours direct local sales;

– production that restores the dignity of agriculture also through fair pricing that takes into account the quality of the processing, as well as the labour and rights of farmers;

– an agriculture that is more simply regulated, and in particular adaptable to mountainous and disadvantaged areas, in order to create opportunities for work and local wellbeing.

Small-scale agriculture must be regulated by a correspondingly small-scale bureaucracy, because the removal and simplification of bureaucratic regulations are necessary for the production, processing and sale of agricultural products.

 For this reason we request the adoption of a specific law.

Art. 44 – Italian Constitution

“In order to obtain a rational use of the soil and establish equitable social relationships, the law imposes obligations and restrictions on private land ownership, sets limits to its extent according to regions and farming zones, promotes and imposes decontamination of the land, transformation of large estates and the re-establishment of productive units; helps small and medium landownership. The law will make provisions to favour mountainous areas.”

It would be hard for them to be clearer or more determined, but to understand their level of commitment we would like to introduce you to the promoters of the law by watching the video they produced to accompany the campaign to collect signatures .