“We need to work closely with nature rather than using our resources and destroying it. I think that would lead to a greater respect among people as well”, Lisa Jones.
What is your job about?
The Soil Association is about helping people get access to good food, we try to address food inequality and the way we produce food, organic farming.
We are finding methods of farming which work with the environment rather than against it. It’s also about enabling change on the certification side of things. We help people to meet best practices in growing and processing.
We also work with animal welfare we do research to find out how best to care for animals. We can put standards in pace and we can meet those standards but we haven’t been looking at whether the animals are doing ok at the end of it. That’s something else we have started to look into. We are now benchmarking for outcome based works so that we check whether the meet the needs and requirements of the animals. It’s a relationship between soils, the food we eat and the way we farm.
What issues do you address?
- Food growing and eating
- Animal welfare
- Farming – organic farming
- Working with nature
- Children’s understanding of where food comes from
- Improving quality of food in schools
What were the obstacles that you had to overcome?
- There is quite a strong lobby for intensive farming where people feel that they need pesticides to keep farming. We campaign against that
- We look at GM and we campaign against that. We get kickback, one group said we were evil because we were helping people die in developing nations because we are standing in the way of GM tech, there is a strong area of thought that GM can help to feed the world
- The corporate lobby is very strong. It is good to debate these things though
What helped you keep going in hard times?
Being part of an organization that you intuitively agree with and believe in. I think the soil association is a stronger way forward for the future. I am surrounded by a bunch of people who all have similar views. On a daily basis we are working for the better.
What first prompted you to become interested in environmental issues and when was that?
I think I have always been interested but got the bug to do something more active in my late 20’s. I started wanting to do something with environmental education and then a job came up at the Soil Association. I haven’t looked back. I find it so fascinating how everything comes into food and farming. Its about people and animal welfare and farming. The more I have learned the more fascinating it becomes. I can’t imagine not working in sustainable food in some way or another.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very happy) where would you rate how you feel about your life?
If I take into the consideration all the things I think are wrong around me it would go lower