Monday, 15 April 2013

Aussie First: Australian Family Farmers join the 200 million farming movement

Today we are launching Reciprocity's and Food Connect's first crowding funding project. 

The goal of this amazing project is to raise funds to get an Australian delegation of 4 family farmers and 2 supporters to the 6th La Via Campesina International Conference being held at Jakarta in June this year.  To support this project go to:

For the first time ever, Australian family farmers (not those soulless corporate clones of giant agribusiness) have been invited to join with representatives of the 200 million strong, global family farming movement (La Via Campesina) at their 6th International Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia in June 2013.

This is an incredible, once in a generation opportunity, for Aussie voices and views to connect with those of famers from 58 other countries in La Via Campesina’s 20-year long struggle to end the globalization of hunger.

Our goal is to get a six-member Australian delegation to Jakarta.

And we need your support to get them there!

This small but dedicated delegation of family farmers and their supporters will form our core Australia connection with the 200 million and work to build our contribution to the struggle in ending the globalization of hunger and making a better world possible.

Please help us take up this important opportunity and make your contribution to a better world today

The facts as we know them:

  • Small-scale agriculture, based on agroecology and food sovereignty, is the only model of food production that offers a sustainable future for the planet and its peoples;
  • The corporate-driven industrialised model of agriculture seeks to deliberately destroy this small scale agriculture and the lives of those who practice it;
  • La Via Campesina, as the authentic voice of the peasant, is the only organisation capable of maintaining the integrity and legitimacy of this model of sustainable agriculture and protecting the rights of those who practice it
  • If they are to survive, Australian family farmers can no longer remain isolated from the knowledge, experiences and global solidarity that comes from meaningful engagement with the global family farming community that is La Via Campesina
On their return from Jakarta, the delegation members will form the core of the Australian- LVC connection. Their role will be to:

  • Build on and strengthen the LVC/Australia family farmer alliance;
  • Coordinate ongoing LVC/Australian family farmer cultural exchanges;
  • Initiate a range of activities to share their learnings and experiences with other family farmers across Australia; and
  • Help to establish an Australian Family Farming Organisation which can be accepted for formal membership of La Via Campesina.
Delegate profiles:


Garry Fetherston

Garry produces bananas on his farm, Featherview, in Mullumbimby, Northern New South Wales. Garry has been converting his farm to a biological system that relies on nutrients from organic mulch, chipped branched wood, composted banana trash and brewed compost tea. He grows his bananas without using any chemical pesticides ie. fungicides, herbicides or insecticides.

Cris and Lee-Anne Geri

Cris and Lee-Anne’s farm, Rawganix is in Tansey in South East Queensland. They are currently producing certified organic eggs, olives, grain, beef and sheep. Their long term aim is to provide produce from their farm with no disruption to the biological systems in which their food is produced.

Samantha Palmer

Samantha and Ray Palmer’s small family farm, Symara Organic Farm, grows a large and constantly changing selection of vegetables, herbs and fruit, and is located just north of Stanthorpe in the heart of Queensland's Granite Belt. Their passion is to grow quality organic food, sustainably, for their local community, using and sharing new and old knowledge and at the same time caring for the fragile, natural bushland abundant on their farm.

Dianne James is a partner in Reciprocity, a self funded, profit-for-purpose, social enterprise business dedicated to the evolution of a strong and united global peasant movement – La Via Campesina. For the past 5 years, Reciprocity has been a key contributer to initiating long term relationships between La Via Campesina and the Australian family farming community.
Luke Sbeghen is Procurement Manager at Food Connect, fuelled by the knowledge that Food Connect's vision of connecting ecologically friendly family farms directly with subscribers is helping to reinvigorate respect for farmers and the land they nurture.
Project costs:

Total cost of the project is $12,000

This will be spent on airfares for 6 people, Brisbane/Jakarta and return, food and accommodation for each delegate for 10 days, and transport to and from airports and regional farms, and airport and visa taxes.

 To support this project go to:

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