Consumer and climate activists in Mexico face the same challenges we face here in the U.S. when it comes to government support of degenerative, rather than regenerative, agriculture policies and practices.
And just like us, they’re doing something about it.
On April 18 (2016), Regeneration International (RI), a project of OCA, and the Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (OCA in Mexico) along with other groups organized a meeting in Mexico City to introduce France’s 4 per 1000 initiative to government officials, including representatives of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), Mexico’s equivalent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). France's 4 per 1000 Initiative, introduced at the Paris Climate Summit in December and so far endorsed by 26 nations, is a regenerative agriculture and land use plan to draw down and sequester in the soil as much CO2 (10 billion tons of carbon per year) as is presently being emitted by fossil fuel use and deforestation.
The meeting brought together representatives from consumer and civil society groups, the French Embassy and French research institutions, regenerative producers and organic producers and certifiers to talk about agriculture and climate, how they are related, and what needs to be done support organic regenerative agriculture in Mexico.
Sadly, some of the officials representing SAGARPA had no interest in discussing the elephant in the room—Monsanto and GMO monoculture crops, and the policies and subsidies that support degenerative agriculture practices in Mexico.
Following the meeting, RI and Mexico OCA followed up with a “Declaration” challenging the Mexican government to “restore Mexican land.” From the declaration:
We consider this issue fundamental in defending food sovereignty and security, and therefore consider essential the immediate organization and promotion of coordinated and transparent actions and public policies promoting regenerative practices in Mexico that will guarantee small producers' basic rights, ensure the return of carbon to the soil, increase soil fertility, restore Mexican land and contribute to a safe, healthy, and high quality food system.
This was just the first of many meetings to come, as we continue our work to support an organic regenerative future for Mexico.