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This article appears in the April 21, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Food Producers: Meet the Emergency,
Create Capacity in Agriculture, Fisheries

[Print version of this article]

Five speakers, from the nations of France, The Netherlands, and the United States, addressed the topic of the current world food supply and production crisis, as part of Panel 3, “End the Casino Economy Before It’s Too Late,” of the Schiller Institute’s April 15-16 Conference, “Without the Development of All Nations, There Can Be No Lasting Peace for the Planet.”

Three Principles for Emergency Food Supply and Production

Mr. Baker, based in the United States, is with the Schiller Institute Agriculture Commission.

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Bob Baker

Greetings to everyone.

Last month I was able to convey in person, support from U.S. farmers and ranchers to the mass protest rally at The Hague, by the Dutch farmers, fishermen, and many other people. The Dutch government has ordered their activity to be cut way back, lying that nitrogen emissions from food production are ruining the Earth.

Then in March, I was able to meet in person in Germany with farm leaders, during the week of their national protests. They had bonfires, tractorcades, rallies, and boat actions. The government has ordered them to use less chemicals. They’ve ordered the fishermen to use different nets. They’ve ordered less farmland use, fewer meat animals, and so on, claiming food production is harmful.

It’s the same story in many other places—-from the tractors that were on the streets of Paris this Winter, to the cattlemen on their horses in Madrid.

In the Americas, food trade is crazy. Mexico—the home of corn—is told you must get corn from the United States. U.S. cattlemen are told beef must be imported from Africa and South America. U.S. cattlemen are fighting for even the right to have truthful U.S. packaging labels on meat imports, that give the country of origin. They are fighting government ear tags on each of their animals, that will start controlling and shutting them down.

Meantime, millions are starving. Whole nations have been denied the ability to even develop agriculture productivity at all.

Across the whole picture, three points stand out for what we must do to end this situation:

First, there must be no cuts in food production capacity. Not anywhere. This is needed while arrangements are made for a new, production-serving credit system to be put in place. A financial and logistics breakdown has started, like we’ve never seen. We must make this an opportunity to put in place a new system, like we’ve never seen. The right one.

Secondly, there must be a stop to playing off one nation against any other on food production and supply. All nations have the right to self-determination of their own national interest in food production and trade.

Thirdly, there must be the maximum access to scientific food production, as fast as possible, everywhere. This means infrastructure, inputs, storage, transportation, research and development, and much more for every nation in the world.

I call on farmers, ranchers, fishermen, scientists and all to join together. We have activated an Agriculture Commission in the Schiller Institute for collaboration of farm leaders all across the globe. Food producers have the moral authority and responsibility to take the lead in this crisis. There is no more common interest in all humanity than our daily food.

Please contact me (bb888k@gmail.com). I want to work with you. Thank you very much.

Nitrogen ‘Scientism’ Destroys Food Production in Netherlands

Dr. Hanekamp sent greetings from The Netherlands, where he is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Utrecht University.

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Jaap Hanekamp

Hello. My name is Jaap Hanekamp.

I am the author of the article on the nitrogen crisis in The Netherlands, published in the EIR journal, but also on my blogpost, jaaphanekamp.com. (“The Ersatz Nitrogen Crisis; Delusional Expertocracy and the Destruction of Dutch Agriculture,” EIR, April 7, 2023)

I’m a chemist by trade, but I also made a dissertation in theology and philosophy eight years ago on utopia.

I see the nitrogen crisis as a utopian development in The Netherlands and abroad. In this utopian development, science as scientism plays a key role. Scientism is nothing other than the belief that only scientific research delivers real knowledge.

Of course, this is an incoherent position which nevertheless is embraced by the so-called expertocracy which plays a major role in policy-making in the world.

I have critiqued this development eight years ago in my dissertation, but also nowadays on my blogpost, and I believe this critique to be more and more important in the world.

Thank you for your attention, and enjoy your conference.

Cooperation, Not Competition, To Develop Each Country

Mr. Grégoire is President of the Mouvement National des Eleveurs de nos régions (National Movement of Cattle Breeders of Our Regions) in France, and a milk producer. Subheads have been added.

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Philippe Grégoire

Hello to all. Welcome. I want to say something about agriculture, and to summarize what I have to say, I will start not with the current situation—which everybody knows—but by my proposal that the simplest thing is to get inspired by the Havana Charter of March 24, 1948, which was a charter that wanted to recognize neither the neo-liberal American extreme liberal system, which destroyed industries and farmers, nor the Russian model—the Soviet system, which took lands away from farmers and their right to property, and which failed. I will quickly give a few points about the Havana Charter.

Its principle was that it was totally opposed to free trade, and to what has become the World Trade Organization. The Charter proposed an approach very different from the current system, which was the development of each country based on cooperation and not on competition.

These are the main points proposed by the Havana Charter: There should be an equilibrium of balance in payments; nobody should have a budget disequilibrium. This is very important if you see the disequilibrium today. For example, in the euro, there are targeted deficits, seen, for example, in the very large deficit between Italy and Germany.

The second point is to prioritize cooperation. United Nations member states will cooperate within the domain of social-economic health of the UN under a proposal to adopt labor norms which are honest and equitable on each continent; if not, exchange cannot be honest.

Then, capital control is very important. Member states should take all measures to prevent investments in foreign countries being used as tools for foreign intervention. The green light is for state interventions to stop fake competition. Preferential agreements are possible in a cooperative framework; subsidies in certain circumstances are allowed. There can be the outlawing of dumping of products. There can be possible restriction of production volumes; excess production can be eliminated in certain circumstances, and basic food production should be considered as a special category. Therefore, states can stabilize prices; and prices on the exchanges can be separated from prices on the international markets, in order to avoid subversive imports. It’s simple: no dumping policies allowed! We don’t accept the lowest bidder principle of [British economist David] Ricardo.

For me, we can even lift the overall framework of the Havana Charter, and make it better. The Charter gives the farmers an economic model today.

Don’t Allow Monopolies

From the 1940s until the 1980s, there was a strong restructuring of the farm labor sector. Between the 1980s and 2000, the productive tools were taken over by cooperatives and private companies. Since 2000, we have had the very rapid, complete financial takeover dominated by the multi-nationals and trade unions.

Farming should never have been industrialized, because now the sector has a negative phase. There is what is called the monopoly of the production factors. We work with living animals, not like politicians who live with wind. We work with the climate; we’re planting plants which are harvested only six to nine months later. We cannot industrialize an agricultural model. We have to deal with the monopoly of the production factors.

Then, the current policy is aggravating free trade with lies. We’re being told that Macron went to China, and that we in France got contracts to export milk or pork. That’s not a good thing. Each time this kind of thing is done, what we discover is that at the end, it’s not the producers who get rich or get the profit, but only the big companies.

The issue is really to increase the income of the producers. The volumes of production do exist; what we have to do, is to stop wasting. There is about 30% of everything produced which is wasted in the current system. So, the issue is not volume, we just have to make it more rational. We have to irrigate the lands which need it, and not do absurd projects as we see today in France.

Beware Diversionary Debates

The last point is diversion of attention. We’ve been manipulated over the last 40 years by a farm press which is putting out lies which tell us that each farmer has to become bigger and bigger, to manipulate us as if we are little soldiers in the army of the mega-agrobusinesses. Beware about the messages we receive. We’re being told that we should attack the Greenies. We should attack, of course, eating insects and synthetic meat. This is pushed by people, and the Greens are pushing unrealistic projects and dangerous projects.

We are being manipulated to create divisions among us. The real issue is not the Greenies, the real issue is the wages of the farmers. The real issue is not the Greenies who have unrealistic projects which take attention away from the real problems. This is all a diversion of the debate. So, dear farmers, don’t waste your time, this is not the debate.

Thank you for this short intervention. I just want to add one thing, which is the question of the currency in France, with the euro. The euro is a currency which cannot function for farm trade, because it is a weapon for exports and imports, nothing else.

Conclusion: The Havana Charter is the basis to keep farmers alive and we have to manage prices and volumes of production in each country by independent people, independent from trade unions and political parties. Thank you.

R-CALF USA Supports European Farmers and Ranchers

Bill Bullard is the CEO of R-CALF USA, headquartered in Montana, and the largest independent cattlemen’s association in the United States.

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Bill Bullard

Hello, I’m Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA. With approximately 5,000 cattle-producing members, in nearly every state of our union, we’re the largest producer-only cattle trade organization in the United States.

And we’ve been monitoring our European counterparts’ courageous and effective efforts to restore liberty and freedom to farmers and ranchers in the face of a sinister global plot to rob them of both.

They will succeed, which will enable them to get back to what they do best: Produce an abundance of safe, wholesome and affordable food. It’s a tragic irony that farmers and ranchers must fight for the right to produce the food needed by all.

And we certainly appreciate our European counterparts’ willingness to do so.

Restore Great Infrastructure Projects, Produce Food!

Mr. Moore is former President of the Alaska Trollers Association, and a longtime civic leader in Alaska.

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James Moore

Good morning. I’m Jim Moore. I am a commercial fisherman. I live in southeast Alaska, and I am very grateful to be invited to have a small part of this wonderful conference. We want to see a beautiful future for our children. We’re in a position to—we have to act.

I was thinking of an ironic thing here a little while ago. In a world where there is starvation of millions of people—and this should never be, with our degree of technology and advancement, you know. To be in a food producing industry such as ours, or as in agriculture, you would think that that would be a pretty secure job. But it’s not.

We’re fighting for survival, ironically. The major threat that our fishing industry in southeast Alaska—I’m a troller, primarily. A troller—a long-liner—a troller is someone who tows hooks through the water, and entices the fish to bite. Salmon is the target species.

This industry—there are probably 1,500 families that are dependent on this livelihood, is on the chopping block. It is slated for destruction. It’s being destroyed by a lawsuit originating from an extreme left-of-center radical environmental, deep environmental group. How can they do this? It’s beyond anybody’s imagination that they would be able to get so far with this lawsuit, which they are winning.

This problem stems from the fact that, back in the seventies, we had legislation—the ESA (Endangered Species Act), the EPA (Environmental Protection Act), and all these kind of things. It was thought, this is a really good idea. And there were some good intentions there. But it’s been weaponized. It’s being used to shut down industry, critical infrastructure, and this is the problem that I wanted to point out. We need to do something.

In fact, a weaponized ESA not only poses an immediate threat by disrupting food production, but unless serious flaws in the legislation are addressed now, the nationwide infrastructure upgrade necessary to put the economy on a solid footing will be next to impossible.

We need that platform of infrastructure in order to be able to—well, you know, peace is equivalent with development, and we can’t develop under this situation.

I can’t imagine the great projects of our nation’s past, like the TVA, or the Four Corners, or rural electrification, or the Trans-Continental Railroad, ever happening within the straitjacket of these hyper-protectionist, zero-growth laws, in their present form.

Wouldn’t now be the time to make some changes?

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