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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Novembre - Interview, Pierre (farmer): " Standards have not stopped mad cow " (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Fri, 1 Dec 2017 09:06:19 +0200
On May 20, Jerome Laronze was killed by gendarmes . He was a cow farmer in
Saône-et-Loire, on the run following a harassment of administrative and health checks.
During the evenings paying homage to him, the " Outs-norm " collective was born. Pierre,
himself breeder in the Puy-de-Dôme, is here part of the analyzes and objectives of this
collective. ---- Libertarian alternative: It is the death of Jérôme Laronze who is at the
origin of the constitution of the collective " Hors-norm ". Why ? ---- Pierre: Partly yes.
The death of Jerome Laronze was experienced as a shock and a trigger by many farmers.
Since then, we find ourselves in Mâcon, Square de la Paix, the 20th of each month, to
follow up his death and deepen his thoughts and his fight. His death occurs in a context
where the existence of a farmer's agriculture is endangered. The creation of the
collective also comes from the release of two books that feed our thinking on standards in
the agricultural sector. That of Yannick Ogor, The Impossible Peasant and that of Xavier
Noulhianne, The Household of the Fields . Jerome Laronze, too, denounced: "
Hyper-administration, which brings nothing to farmers except humiliation and
bullying.[...]My case is anecdotal but it illustrates the ultra-regulation that leads to
the destruction of the peasants."
What are your thoughts on standards ?
Yannick Ogor and Xavier Noulhianne explain how public policies have favored the
concentration of agricultural production resources in the hands of agribusiness. Until the
1990s, this policy was based on an abundance of subsidies related to farm size and
production volumes, state support for market prices, creating overproductions and
agricultural crises that eliminated smaller farms and enriched productivist operators and
industrialists. Industrial agrifood empires have been formed thanks to public funding.
Then the World Trade Organization has prescribed another solution for states to support
agribusiness: management by standards. Under the pretext of protecting people and saving
the planet, we are putting in place health and environmental standards that are much
easier to pay for when you are a big farmer. Standards upgrades are also subsidized: only
those who can afford standards benefit from subsidies. And these standards, misleading in
their intentions, enjoy a widely shared social approval: it is the mirror with larks of an
alleged quality of food which makes it possible to pass over the forced industrialization
to which they participate actively. those who have the means to meet standards benefit
from subsidies. And these standards, misleading in their intentions, enjoy a widely shared
social approval: it is the mirror with larks of an alleged quality of food which makes it
possible to pass over the forced industrialization to which they participate actively.
those who have the means to meet standards benefit from subsidies. And these standards,
misleading in their intentions, enjoy a widely shared social approval: it is the mirror
with larks of an alleged quality of food which makes it possible to pass over the forced
industrialization to which they participate actively.
Yes, but traceability, hygiene, protection of the environment, is it not essential to
protect us from these same agro-industries ?
These standards allow agricultural products to cross the planet without endangering
industrial interests and falsely reassuring consumers. The implementation of standards
could not prevent mad cow, green algae or horse lasagna. On the contrary, the
industrialization of agriculture has been accompanied by the massive use of toxic
products. It must be understood that these standards, while putting small farms directly
at a disadvantage, do not at all ensure the development of an agriculture respectful of
consumers and the environment. An example: the Voynet law standardizing the spreading has
precipitated the end of small pig farms in Brittany and favored the concentration of pig
farming in large farms, hence a systematization of the industrial breeding,
The state does not aim to protect the population against big business. They work in the
same direction. The latter rely on the state to help them eliminate competition, smaller
farms, and establish agro-industrial sectors.
This collective was formed outside any union framework. Why ?
One member is a member of the CNT-FTTE (Federation of Land and Environment Workers), the
others are not unionized. If the FNSEA denounces standards, it is always in a liberal
perspective. As for the Confédération paysanne, it makes the choice to defend " good
standards ", which would favor farm products. This is a real point of disagreement and in
our opinion an illusion. The peasant Confederation would also like the establishment of a
charter of " good control ", which is antinomic. This union still has a good image, that
of a wrestling union, but in fact does not lend itself easily to the game of co-management
(the union's support for the administrative management of the agricultural sector).
What are the solutions provided by the "collective Above-standard " ?
We no longer want to lie, hide and arrange to believe that we are complying with standards
that are made to eliminate us.
We are still at the stage of reflection , but some tracks are already mentioned. We are
slowly creating a movement of agricultural resistance. We can decide to collectively
refuse a control, go to a farmer who wants it and is controlled by the administration, and
prevent the holding of control. We could also draw inspiration from a collective that
existed in Italy and organized " non-standard " markets by telling consumers " we
guarantee that these products have been made outside of the standards and that this is the
only way they are good to eat and allow us to live .
We need to be able to organize ourselves between farmers and farmers, to find culture and
the political practice of agricultural struggle, to engage the conflict with the
administration. On the other hand we must develop in the population the idea that
standards are tools to destroy the autonomy of farmers.
The solution to health and environmental problems involves deindustrialization of
agriculture and collective choices of production between farmers and women and consumers ;
a self-managed social construction, neither liberal nor state because both work against
the population, against the farmers, and against the self-supporting activities.
Interviewed by Epic (AL Auvergne)
To contact the collective: firstname.lastname@example.org
 " Jerome Laronze, peasant, killed by gendarmes: the story of the incredible drama ",
 Editions of Bout de la Ville: The Impossible Peasant, stories of struggles, Y. Ogor,
June 2017 ; The cleaning of the field, Chronicle of a breeder XXI th century X.
Noulhianne, in October 2016.
 On October 28 and 29, 2017, the national collective meetings took place in Cenves
(69). Reviews available soon.
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