I am writing this in the Polish Parliament in Warsaw (The Seime). Jadwiga Lopata, founder of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, myself (ICPPC President) and farmer colleagues from different regions of Poland, are in the parliament as part of a campaign we have been fighting for the past three years, to get the food laws changed. We are supported in this by a number of active consumers and, perhaps surprisingly, by the chairman of the Agricultural Committee, who belongs to the Kukiz 15 social movement which achieved 12% of the vote in the last election.
The current law in Poland discriminates heavily against the small and medium sized traditional family farmers by prohibiting the on-farm processing of their traditional high quality foods. Also banning the sale of such foods in shops and other local and regional outlets.
The only way farmers can be on the right side of the law, is if they register themselves as ‘a business’ and carry out their processing activities in a separate building designed to satisfy ‘hygiene and sanitary’ regulations of the European Union and national government. Regulations that have been designed by supermarkets and the food industry for supermarkets and the food industry. (more…)