-1
$\begingroup$

What kind of laws & regulations would be advantageous to family operated organic farms and detrimental to industrial farms?

Assume those could be legislated by democratic government in the industrial country that is hostile to the industrial agriculture.

From personal knowledge legislation for organic food is not enough since due to supermarket pressure farmers are forced to do the bare minimum to get one of the organic certificates but their business is still produce junk food cheaply. My cousin runs such farm and I would never call him organic farmer no matter how many certificates he has.

$\endgroup$

closed as off-topic by sphennings, Mormacil, L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica, Aify, Azuaron Jun 30 '17 at 13:46

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – sphennings, Mormacil, L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica, Aify, Azuaron
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Why is it hostile towards mass agriculture? Likely any legislation passed is based on the main issue they have with the concept. $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae Jun 30 '17 at 12:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Industrial country = many people = mass food production = industrial farms. $\endgroup$ – Fl.pf. Jun 30 '17 at 12:34
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Dajonon Industrial doesn't inherently mean bad, unhealthy or unsustainable. A vertical hydroponic/aeroponic farm can both be industrial and sustainable. You can implement legislation to make the unsustainable variants impossible, but banning industrial agriculture all together will be next to impossible. $\endgroup$ – Hyfnae Jun 30 '17 at 12:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We must feed seven billion people. Organic farming is a way of catering to the rich few. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 30 '17 at 13:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @HenningM. Sustainable != organic. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 30 '17 at 15:59
1
$\begingroup$

Take an eco-social market economy.

  1. Subventions: At the moment (for some decades) the EU tries to do the opposite: have giant industrialized farms producing cheap to save local nutrition production against imports. You get subventions per acre or cow in the EU and bigger farms produce cheaper and sell for the same price. Change this to a dynamic formular: The more acres / cows a farm has, the less subventions per acre / cow you get. Depending on what you want to have in the end you may shift less or more money or capp it. The formula should be adjusted from time to time when you see that something goes wrong.

  2. Taxes: "Bad" companies often earn more money than "good" ones through externalizing their costs, meaning they use up things that belong to everyone or no one like high sea fish or air to dump their waste, e.g. CO2. Another example: a company pumping waste into a lake may produce much cheaper than a company trying to avoid waste in the first place. The market economy / capitalist aproach to this would be not to forbid it but to internalize this costs, to make them pay for what they use. Like sell them the right to pump one ton of CO2 into the athmosphere. It will not work if you gift the emission rights to your friends of course. Translate company with farm and CO2 dumping with use of antibiotics, lost deep ground water or lost happy pig life years or something like that.

  3. increase effect over time until the farm composition is right, money is out or something changes.

A big enough unsustainable farm will still be able to make money this way, at least for some time, but small family businesses (and depending on the exact formula big industrial sustainable farms) will be able to thrive much better and the farms in your country are still able to compete against superfarms in countries without any legislation on eg. antibiotics or pestizides.

$\endgroup$
4
$\begingroup$

Banning the use of all artificial fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics seems like the obvious measure. Won't affect organic farms at all, but will prevent industrial farms from operating in anything like they way they do at present.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ How about maximum farm size? Does that makes any sense? $\endgroup$ – Dajanon Jun 30 '17 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ How does one ban antibiotics for farm animals given the restriction "democratic government in the industrial country"? While this is a straight forward and good answer (+1), it might not be doable - I think all of your points $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 30 '17 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 One extends existing restrictions to an outright ban. Antibiotics are prescription drugs, and in most developed countries you can't just buy them over the counter and do what you want with them. If vets aren't permitted to prescribe them by law, then farmers can't use them. See for example: fwi.co.uk/livestock/… $\endgroup$ – Mike Scott Jun 30 '17 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, this is repeating what you wrote initially in your answer. I argue you cannot do that because of conflicting interests and so on. Farmers have to kill their entire lifestock if it gets infected with something for example. It should be very difficult to ban what one could call "medicine" or "essential" to an industry in a modern democratic country just because the current government demands it. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 30 '17 at 13:25
1
$\begingroup$

I hope you don't mind the short answer given the short question:

While this is an infinite list question, I think the most intuitive approach in a modern democracy would be to introduce labels on food stating what is organic and what isn't and then teach children in school and parents and so on a bunch of stuff about how it is dangerous to eat certain things. Doesn't matter if it is true or not, people will believe anything. This is more or less how a lot of myths about food became public knowledge.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most modern western democracy keep their agriculture alive, industrial or not, by offering minimum prices and heavy subventions. It is theoretically in the hands of many governments to kill off their agricultural sector or one branch specifically.

It would be problematic to actually do it for many reasons (hopefully obvious), but it also depends a lot on your country. No chance within the EU to do this, some chance if you have the ability to decide insanity with a popular vote and you are not bound by other treaties.

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.