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The Asilomar Declaration for Sustainable Agriculture

Written by the Committee for Sustainable Agriculture [now known as the Ecological Farming Association] and adopted at the Ecological Farming Conference, January 10, 1990.

The present system for American agriculture cannot long endure. Our farms have succeeded in producing abundant food and fiber. But the costs and fragility of that success are becoming each day more evident.

Sustainable alternatives already prove their value. Not only are they more efficient in their use of energy, biological sources of fertility and pest management, they also enhance rural communities and encourage families to remain on the land. We commit ourselves to hastening the broad adoption of an agriculture that is environmentally sound, economically fiable, fair, and humane.

A sustainable agriculture will require and support a sustainable society. Our challenge is to meet human needs without denying our descendants' birthright to the natural inheritance of this planet. We must revere the earth, sustaining and regenerating both nature and our communities. People are a part of nature, not separate from it. Sustainable agriculture is as attainable as it is necessary. Though we recognize difficulties in this transformation, we can state with confidence that in every region there are fare families profitably growing healthy food through a practical partnership with nature.

A sustainable agriculture that provides nourishing food, protects those who work the land, helps stabilize the earth's climate, and safeguards soil and water depends on our ability to meet a number of challenges. We must address these challenges without delay.

Healdsburg Tribune, February 9, 1990. p 3

Organic farmers establish goals

Leaders of the country's alternative agriculture movement have developed a statement of purpose to guide its development through the next decade. The "Asilomar Declaration for Sustainable Agriculture" was presented to several hundred organic farmers who met in January at the 12th annual Ecological Farming Conference held at Asilomar, near Monterey. The Asilomar Declaration issued seven "challenges" to American Agriculture.

1. Promote and sustain healthy rural communities.
2. Expand opportunities for new and existing farmers to propsper using sustainable systems.
3. Inspire the public to value safe and healthful food.
4. Foster an ethic of land stewardship and humaneness in the treatment of farm animals.
5. Expand knowledge and access to information about sustainable agriculture.
6. Reform the relationship among government, industry and agriculture.
7. Redefine the role of United States agriculture in the global community.