Organic agriculture as the most prominent alternative farming system can play a special role in this. Its long experience regarding the development of the institutions needed to grow as an alternative system can inspire all four groups of policy interventions, be it related to direct support, consumers, gradual improvements or legal requirements and bans.
Organic agriculture as a blueprint
When designing their sustainability policies, governments should only support agriculture and food systems that deliver on the SDGs. And they should abandon inconsistent policies such as subsidizing pesticides and fertilizers while also subsidizing biodiversity protection. The ongoing discussion of Switzerland’s future agricultural policy AP 22+ offers us precisely such an opportunity
. One of the debate’s central points is how to provide consistent and effective support to production systems that are adapted appropriately to their locations and do not exceed the ecosystem’s carrying capacities.
The policy context is challenging, though, given the powerful vested interests of agribusiness, food companies and commodity-related interest groups. Scientists, farmers, policymakers, businesses and civil society organizations need to align and pull these powerful players along to really make the future of farming look different than farming today. Tremendously different, otherwise in 2030 we’ll be facing another type of SDGs: Sustainable Development Gaps.