Good food is sustainable food.
Food doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment. It simply can’t. When industry promotes farming practices that undermine soil health, pollute waterways and kill pollinators, they’re promoting false solutions.
We partner with farmers around the world to support sustainable farming practices. Our programs encourage farmer-led innovation by blending cutting-edge ecological sciences with farmers’ intimate knowledge of their land and ecosystems. With locally adapted seeds and careful farming, communities everywhere can enjoy sustainable harvests. The proof is in the field.
Why we need a shift in the way we grow our food.
When agriculture aims solely to maximize harvests and profits, the health of the planet pays the price. The climate crisis, pollution, biodiversity loss… Agriculture contributes to all the most pressing environmental problems we face today.
The industrial food system — which includes all the steps in growing, processing and transporting food — produces more than one third of all greenhouse gas emissions. It has degraded vast amounts of land and is the leading cause of biodiversity loss worldwide. The climbing use of pesticides and herbicides damages waterways, harms wildlife, and decimates bee and other pollinator populations.
Industrial agriculture undermines its own viability by causing a rapid loss of seed diversity. The focus on large-scale, mechanized agriculture has meant a shift towards monocultures, where entire farms grow a single, genetically identical crop variety. The commercial seed market, 60 per cent of which is controlled by just three corporations, focuses on serving this kind of agriculture. As a result, we’ve lost 75 per cent of crop diversity in the last century. This makes agriculture vulnerable to a changing climate. Farmers can no longer count on the natural insurance policy provided by fields of genetically diverse crops, each with their own resistance to different conditions.
Thankfully, there is a better way to grow food. The benefits to the environment of this ecological way of farming are many: it’s sustainable, it regenerates soils, it rebuilds lost seed diversity, and it works with nature. It’s called agroecology and it’s what we do.
How to turn the desert green: Bringing soil back in Burkina Faso
Thirty-three per cent of the Earth’s soil is already degraded – and as much as 90 per cent could become degraded by 2050.
Before this farmer harvests food, she must harvest water
“Nothing would be possible on this land without the water.” Support a farmer with the gift of water this Giving Tuesday.
Agroecology on the front lines of shifting agriculture
Here’s how agroecology has been part of the shift to diversified food systems in countries where SeedChange works.