Buono, pulito e giusto: can getting dressed be an agricultural act?
Food production globally has undergone massive change over the last few decades but recently consumers have rediscovered a desire to connect with producers and to be reassured that the food they eat is healthy and comes from a source that conforms to their political, ethical and moral beliefs. The rise of the 'conscious consumer/ the resurgence of Farmers' Markets, environmental and health concerns about modern farming and the fight-back by small producers against the globalisation of food have all contributed to putting concerns about food production methods in the foreground of many global campaigns. Farming for the production of natural fibres faces many of the same challenges that food producers are confronted by, with the added impediment that wholly synthetic fibre is not just possible but is in fact dominant in the global market. Even highly processed foods have to start from an agricultural source, but textiles can be created entirely artificially, often from petrochemicals. Natural fibre producers need to pull together to give voice to the consumer benefits of their products, and the environmental and social benefits of natural fibres, and the message needs to be delivered loudest to the same people who are already strongly interested in food production from an ethical viewpoint.... [Show full abstract]