In the first few months of 2022, as part of Farming the Future’s reflection and renewal process, we hosted several listening sessions. In these sessions, our goal was to listen deeply to what you, the U.K. Food and Farming movement, want from us. In particular, in the third of these sessions, we wanted to hear your views on equity. This blog summarises what we heard from you during the session. If you would like to read the detailed write-up, you can find it here. We have also written up what we heard at the other two, more general, listening sessions separately - you can find this here.
What does equity mean to you?
First, we spoke about what equity meant to those of us who were attending the session. We heard a range of different ideas expressed, including that:
Equity is about respect
Equity is intersectional. Struggles for equity are based in lived experience & a willingness to put yourself in others’ shoes
Equity is about breaking down barriers & dismantling oppressive systems
Equity is about representation and inclusion
Equity is about participation
Equity is about identifying needs & rights, and translating these into policy
“Equity is about liberation”
Equity is about building relationships—with humans and non-humans
Equity is complex
Equity requires action & commitment—it’s a process
How can or should Farming the Future support equity?
In the second part of the session, we talked about what actions or approaches FTF could take to better support those various visions of equity. You shared many different ideas, including:
Addressing systemic barriers/systemic change
Supporting & building racial justice & anti-racism in the food and farming movement
Supporting research about the state of equity in the movement and how best to support it
Working across the supply chain to promote equity
Incorporating a vision of land justice in the promotion of equity
Supporting new entrants - both in terms of supporting greater diversity in new entrants but also getting the movement’s ‘house in order’ ready to receive them
Access to tools for equity e.g. communication; supporting people on journey
Beyond these ideas on how we could support equity within the movement, participants in the session also shared what Farming the Future could do internally to support equity, including:
Having clarity of vision both in terms of equity specifically and also more broadly
At the same time, we should have breadth of vision to ensure action across the ecosystem
Ensure equity is an underlying core principle for us, not a theme amongst others
Engagement with equity needs to be genuine
More participatory decision-making
Thank you to all who made the time to share your thoughts and responses. A constant process of listening and sensing and from the movement informs the strategy and approach for Farming the Future, so the team and now looking at how to design your feedback into the next program of work, we’ll be in touch soon to share more on that soon.