Our top priority as a global society should be developing a sustainable future. We need to focus on building our health and immune systems through nutritious foods, not filled with the chemicals often associated with large farming operations.
Small farms help us provide healthy food and are sustainable. Our coffee business is dedicated to supporting independent farmers by carefully choosing the farms we source your fresh roasted coffee from. Then, we make sure that a portion of our earnings reaches charities working for global health, environment conservation, animal protection, and more.
Here is what small farms do for us and why there should be more effort to protect them.
1. Small Farms Promote Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety of life and naturally occurring living things in any environment. This variety of life is important for conserving our ecosystem and promoting a healthier planet.
Biodiversity is the basis for different kinds of foods available to us. This includes wild plants harvested for food, genetic crops, trees grown on farms, medicinal plants, pastures, and more. Biodiversity is also responsible for providing us with raw materials for items like cotton, wool, wood, biofuel, other fuels, etc.
Biodiversity has been known to improve farmers' profitability by boosting productivity and yield. If biodiversity is given due consideration while farming and conservational practices are observed, farmers can boost the output of nutritious crops. There will be more food without disrupting the environment.
But the problem with large farms is that they destroy natural biodiversity. For high diversity farming, you need intensive labor work so that farmers can look after soil requirements, harvesting time, and other conditions for preserving biodiversity. Farmers must also have specific knowledge about microhabitats and their relation to growing varieties of crops. Only small farms, mostly based on labor work and close inspection of crops, are suitable for maintaining biodiversity.
2. Promotes Local Economy and Creates Jobs
Small farms employ more people than large farms, which are mostly mechanized. Small farms create employment for people working on the farms and for small businesses and shop owners who sell the food from farms to the market.
As rural communities grow and prosper, so does the national and global economy. The pandemic has put several people out of jobs, and small farms help provide jobs to people on and off the farm. While mechanization is putting people out of jobs as more and more work is becoming automated, small farms use less machinery and more labor for careful farming.
3. Small Farms Have a High Yield of Crops
Large farms are more efficient than small farms. Large farms are efficient in that they focus on one or two cultures of crops and their large-scale production via technology reduces the cost. But for small farms, efficiency lies in utilizing the limited land area and improving their small crop production.
Small farms produce a variety of crops. And a wider variety of crops is known to improve soil content and fertility as different crops keep replacing the nutrients in the soil. The diversity of planted crops also reduces the risk of pests. Moreover, small farmers tend to use all the available space to grow crops, while in large farms, big spaces of the idle farm are left without any production.
This diversity of crops, better soil health, and utilization of all space on farms lead to a higher yield per unit area, making the small farm more efficient.
4. Promotes Community Welfare and Economic Equity
A family usually runs small farms, independent farmers with several employees, or even a whole village. They have decentralized land ownership. This makes for equitable economic growth and opportunity. People feel more responsible, have greater social capital, and have more control over their livelihood.
Small farms do not have powerful overlords giving peanuts to laborers who continue to suffer in poverty. Since there is more accountability and people are more involved in the well-being of the land, small farms promote a sense of community and levels people on the economic ground.
5. Small Farms Are Sustainable
Small-scale farming does not mess with the natural landscape. Small farming still involves natural agricultural practices like grazing, which are good for maintaining the soil nutrients. It utilizes maximum space, promotes biodiversity, and does not have the effects of industrialization seeped into it. Jobs are created, fair trade is promoted, and communities come together.
Thus, small farms tend to be more sustainable as they work without destroying the natural balance of the environment.
The effects of our ruthless mechanization and industrialization are being felt worldwide. Climate change, global warming, wildfires, and threats to the diversity of life have increased multifold in just a few years. We can take action now by promoting and helping small-scale farmers and independent workers. Healthy, nourishing food is the requirement to eradicate not just world hunger but also global malnutrition.
We, at Altruistic Joe, donate 20% of our net income to support charitable causes, while also supporting small farmers and workers. You are making a difference with each purchase you make from coffee at our shop. Visit https://altruisticjoeshop.com/collections/single-origin to learn about the current farms we are sourcing from, and join our mailing list at altruisticjoe.com to receive updates when new selections become available.