Manifesto

Who We Are:

We are a network of community food growing groups launched in London in 2010.

Food growing: We are actively engaged in growing food plants and supporting others to grow food, in healthy, sustainable ways.

Community: We are not-for-profit(1), collectively managed initiatives. We exist for the benefit of group members, local communities, their economy and environment.

Network: The network is a horizontal association; a “group of groups”. We connect and cooperate with each other, within and beyond our local neighbourhoods. We meet every season to celebrate our yields, share skills and decide on the next practical steps for the network.

What We Believe:

That Community Food Growing Projects have a number of important benefits:

  • Community development and social cohesion: creating vibrant spaces for diverse individuals and communities to meet, on a level playing field, on the common ground of food.
  • Physical health and mental well-being through exercise, fresh air, improved diet and direct contact with soil and nature.
  • Environmental: reconnecting people and nature; creating and maintaining green, breathing spaces in urban and rural landscapes; enhancing biodiversity and contributing to reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants.
  • Economy: promoting individual and community self-reliance by helping people take a step towards taking control of their food, and fostering micro-enterprises.
  • Offering a challenge to current highly unsustainable food production practices.
  • Given these benefits, and the exuberant joy that can be experienced from working with others to grow food, we believe that Community Food Growing Projects have a vital role to play in improving our current society; in the transition to a future sustainable, just society; and as a permanent feature of that society.

That the open air testing and commercial growing of genetically modified (GM) crops is a serious threat to sustainable food production, and that the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops is untenable.

We Exist To:

  • Provide a space for Community Food Growing Groups, to provide moral and practical support, aid and inspiration.
  • Create and control our own food systems by reclaiming enclosed land for common use.
  • Facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.
  • Promote more sustainable forms of food production and ultimately to grow food organically(2).
  • Join together in defence of any member whose legitimate activities are threatened : “an injury to one is an injury to all”.
  • To increase community food growing activity, through education, awareness raising, lobbying, campaigning and direct action, at a local, regional, national and international level.
  • To raise funds to further these activities and following demands.

We Demand:

  • Security of tenure for all bona fide Community Food Growing Groups: a minimum of ten year contracts for rent/ lease of land; ultimately resulting in collective ownership by the group/groups/network.
  • No Group to be evicted from their land without a full local referendum, unless they consent to the offer of alternative premises.
  • Statutory bodies to make appropriate land available to Groups on demand, if necessary by compulsory purchase, or allowing the occupation of open land serving no other socially useful purpose
  • Priority for sustainable food solutions:
  • Land redistribution
  • Employment and training
  • Freedom from contamination by GM pollution.

1- ‘not-for-profit’: any surplus income generated is fed back into the initiative, not taken out as profit.

2 – That is, in accordance with Garden Organic’s Organic Gardening Guidelines or Soil Association’s Organic Standards.

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