Sunday, July 24, 2011

Martin Frid: Support for Japanese farmers from French Organic Farmers

Wonderful news from Martin Frid in his latest post: "Support For Japan From French Organic Farmers".

Those of us who love and support traditional Japanese culture (rooted in small, organic family farms) are thrilled to hear that the French organic farming movement, Urgenci, is renaming their newsletter "Teikei," (cooperation) as a sign of solidarity with the Japanese Organic Agriculture Association (JOAA):
Tei-Kei: Legend has it that the face of the farmer is hiding in the vegetables in the box. The truth is far more prosaic, but none the less elegant. The word teikei 提 携 Is composed of two characters that depict an action : that of an outstretched hand and that of helping each other. This is the term chosen by the Japanese pioneers to designate the first partnerships that were developed between producers and consumers. From the outset, in the 1970s, this new form of direct sales illustrated how to jointly maintain the often fragile balance between farmers and consumers...

At a time when Japan is still suffering from the trauma of the nuclear disaster, renaming our newsletter TEIKEI is a legitimate act anchored in our history. It shows that our movements all recognise our family ties with the Japanese movement and is also a symbol of our unconditional solidarity towards the families that are victims of the disaster. It is an important signal that will strengthen a great many actions that are already up and running. The reconstruction projects carried out with such strength by Hiroko Amemiya to help the farmers in the contaminated zones, as well as the testimony by Shimpei and Toshihide in Aubagne. This is the 33rd Urgenci newsletter, the first to be published using our new name, Teikei. A great deal of it is dedicated to them.
More at the linked post from Martin, who will be visiting Namyangju City, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea in September with the JOAA for the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) World Congress, the first such event in Asia for the organic movement. IFOAM is the global umbrella organization for the organic movement, uniting more than 750 member organizations in 116 countries.

Most (1.9 million) Japanese farms are very small (less than 5 acres). These farms are based on harmony between humans and nature, highly sensitive to ecological balance of their landscapes (Satoyama).

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