This document is a ‘call-out’ that groups, organisations and individuals can sign, in order to show their solidarity and support for the Free the Soil campaign.
We invite you to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you want to sign it!
SOLIDARITY WITH FREE THE SOIL
Industrial agriculture is one of the primary systems destroying the planet and the climate. It is causing massive greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in land use change and relying on soil carbon mining.
More and more land is taken away from small scale farmers and peasants around the world. This is happening in the Global North and following colonial patterns increasingly in the Global South. Land is instead being used for mono-cultural industrial production of crops for the global market. They are produced without any concerns for nature, biodiversity or local food sovereignty and their production is a major driver of the climate chaos. An essentiel component in this system is synthetic fertilizers.
This system puts farmers in a difficult situation and hinders their transition to sustainable farming. We, the signatories of this call, stand in solidarity with peasants and the struggle for agroecology and food sovereignty and the linked struggles against all forms of opression. Therefore, we distance ourselves from groups expressing oppressive views or behaviour.
- When its reliance on fossil gas, through the Haber-Bosch process and its destruction of soil, are taken into account, the production and usage of synthetic fertilizers is estimated to be responsible for up to 10 % of global greenhouse gas emissions;
- Synthetic fertilizer use results in water and air pollution and as part of the system of large scale agriculture destroys biodiversity;
- The use of synthetic fertilizers results in deterioration of organic matter in the soil, resulting in large emissions of carbon and the destruction of the fertility of the soil, causing farmers and peasants to be increasingly dependent on these fertilizers;
- The destruction caused by the fertilizer industry compares to that of the coal mining industry by sacrificing huge areas of arable land in their devastating hunt for scarce minerals and their demand for cheap gas;
- The dependence on fossil gas is part of the reason for the strong political alliance between fossil fuel companies and agribusiness;
- Through large lobbying groups like the GACSA (Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture), YARA pushes a political agenda to expand the reach of their markets and industrial agriculture;
- The fertilizer company YARA, which is partially owned by the Norwegian state, is active all around the world, and dominates the global market for nitrogen fertilizer;
- YARA is the single biggest industrial buyer of fossil gas in Europe;
We support Free the Soil’s camp and mass action of civil disobedience in September 2019 to stop YARA’s fertilizer production plant in Brunsbüttel, which is the second biggest nitrogen fertilizer production plant in Europe producing 0,5% of the world’s total production.