What is Green Washing?
Agriculture was the catalyst for human civilisation, it made possible the modern world in which we live today. If it wasn’t for Agriculture we would all still be hunting and gathering; meaning the luxuries we enjoy today would not exist. Despite the fact that Agriculture, and the people working within, provide the nutrition to keep this country going, the industry is being made a scape goat by the very people it maintains.
As a country we want sufficient food that is available 24/7 and at a price that is cheaper than yesterday. At the same time we want that food grown to ever increasing standards and done so while maintaining or even ‘regenerating’ the environment. As a country we want our cake and we are damn well going to eat it too. We want sustainable quantity and quality and we don’t want to pay for it. Agriculture is quite literally stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.
Fortunately Agriculture is one of the most adaptable industries around and I have no doubt that farmers will meet the challenges asked of them, however, I fear the challenge ahead is being impeded by the very thing that got us into this environmental mess in the first place. Capitalism.
The last Agricultural Revolution, following the second world war, was ironically coined “The Green Revolution”. The companies that profited from this revolution are fighting tooth and nail to maintain the control they have gained over the last 50 or so years. This has resulted in seriously biased points of view and misleading information being presented as fact. To make matters worse clever marketing is subconsciously manipulating us into thinking something is, when really it is not.
The term ‘Green Washing’ perfectly demonstrates how companies are doing this. Since the arrival of Apple’s iPhone, putting an ‘i’ in front of a name is now associated with cutting edge technology. This idea has been adapted and used to promote the environmental credentials of a company or product, even if they have none. Seeing the word ‘Green’ or ‘Eco’ alongside a product or company leads us to believe they are environmentally friendly when the reality may be very different. We, as a country, an industry and even as a consumer, are being subconsciously mislead by an establishment that is simply protecting itself.
That being said I have faith in Agriculture as organisations like the The Pasture for Life Association, The Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group and Linking Environment And Farming gain traction and increase membership. The truth will out.
As a Farmer it is more important now than ever that we wade through the BS to uncover the truth. Clever marketing, vast wealth and political influence should not shape the future of Agriculture.
Sufficient quantities of environmentally friendly and quality nutrient dense food is already being produced by profitable farmers across the world, and you don’t have to look very hard to find them either! A simple search on Twitter and you will stumble across Regenerative Agriculture conversations being had by real life farmers from around the world.
The real Green Revolution is just starting and we will not be fooled.