Food security and the decline of the oil-based food system

Food security and the decline of the oil-based food system

Andy Holdaway

Support for community-based food production in Hereford

Part of the abstract:
The evidence seems very clear. At some time within the next few years, if not already, global oil production will peak. At the same time, demand for oil is increasing. The inability of oil supply to meet demand will have serious repercussions on our present food system because it relies at each stage of production on vast quantities of oil. Oil is required for everything from agricultural chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides, to the fuel for tractors, other agricultural machines and lorries, and even for the packaging in which our food comes. The price of food is set to spiral upwards along with fuel prices.

And yet there is so much potential for better living....

This report looks at the potential that exists to enable the people of Hereford and beyond to look at their lives, realise that something is missing, and gain awareness that being active or passive with friends in a more stress-free, calmer social environment, located in natural surroundings of greater attractiveness and complete with opportunities of eating excellent food, is a way of life which most find appealing. One of the underlying aims of this report is therefore to show that with help, support and encouragement we can find a satisfying and sustainable path into the future, and this path will include community-based food production.

The project’s research has investigated general approaches and models for community-based food production, and explores examples existing in and beyond as it looks at their productivity, practicalities, how they fit into society and their general success. This leads to conclusions and recommendations suitable for supporting existing activities and gives ‘tools’ necessary for people to become actively involved in growing some of their own food. Outputs from the project, such as an article published in South Wye News and a resource booklet entitled “The ToolShed”, aim to help people turn ideas into actions.
The full project report (pdf) is available below.