The Challenges We Face
Hello D.I.G.Community !
On behalf of the team, I want to welcome you all to our digital home. Just by reading this you are helping us fulfill our mission to support the global food supply chain.
We talk a lot internally about the challenges we face:
Adaption tools and process to adapt to a changing climate (which will disrupt the global food supply chain)
Supporting Farmers with tools and know-how
Measuring changes and efficiency of those tools
Building Awareness about this important issue
Disseminating Research and Knowledge as fast as possible.
We have a lot of work to do! One common question we get is this: How will you know if you are successful?”
For us, we see three shifts that we think will have impact on both a local and a global basis:
Global awareness of the need to adapt and change our current food supply chain
This is a major task. In our current world, many people are not aware of where our food comes from. My family recently joined the Backyard Chicken Pilot Project in Toronto. We did it for a few reasons, but mainly we did it for the eggs.
Seems pretty straight forward Chickens = Eggs.
Most people understand that. But what was incredible is how many people said to me, “Oh your neighbours will hate that…the rooster will drive them crazy !”
Then it dawned on me…people think you need a rooster to make an egg (pro tip: you don’t).
That is a frightening thought…we have professional hard working adults that have no idea how one of the staples of the world is produced…let alone the entire logistics chain that gets those eggs to their plate. World…we have a problem.
So if we are going to build awareness of the need to adapt and change our current food supply chain…we need to educate folks where food actually comes from and what is involved in the production. Food doesn’t come from your local supermarket…it comes from the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears of farmers from around the world. This is a big deal and what helps us get to our second metric of success…
Farming is the new Coding
Farming is not a dead end job. It is literally the life of the global economy.
A good farmer friend of ours says something profound in its simplicity, “You need a priest once or twice in a lifetime, you need a doctor once or twice a year, but you need a farmer three times a day.”
We are facing a time where our false since of food abundance is coming to an end. While we have enough food to feed everyone on the planet (and - currently - the arable land to feed a population of 50 Billion) we are losing several key inputs that will make farming and knowledge of “climate adaptable farming” a key skill-set over the next 50 years.
What are those key inputs you ask?
From an actuarial basis, we run out of farmers in 10 years. The average age of farmers around the world is about 60 years old, average global life expectancy is about 70 years old. This is a major problem.
We run out of arable land in 60 years. While that may seem like a long time out, that means we will not be able to plant in certain parts of the world starting now and moving forward.
In five years, we begin to see the beginning of a water shortage that will affect 50% of the world’s population…this will inhibit the ability to grow and produce many inputs.
If we are successful, in five years, we will Increase the Pipeline of farmers (and skilled farmers that are capable of using wise practices, technology, and an ability to adapt to a changing environment), reduce the average age of farmers in every location we have a D.I.G. Community Lab, and increase the adoption of technology and farming practices that reduce water inputs and increase environmental land/soil protection.
Farmers increase their income and Consumers pay less for food
We want to see farmers take home a larger share of the price of food. What that means is that we remove speculation (which accounts for 50% of the price of food !) and direct that money into the pockets of consumers, retailers, farmers, and programs that help and insure the continued protection/remediation of the environment.
Farmers currently assume the majority of the risk of production and in order to off-set that risk (and keep civilization running) are moving that risk to the environment in ways that are not sustainable: over use of chemicals, not adhering to sustainable practices, and lack of diversity in production).
Farmers then get to take home a whopping 3% of the price you pay at the supermarket. That is crazy.
If we are successful we can direct capital away from speculators and back into the pockets of farmers, protect the environment, and reduce the cost of food (directing money into your pocket). This is done just by fairly dividing the pie and removing a single greedy hand taking half of it at the expense of the rest of us.
If you got tired reading that, think about what it will take to do it !
But the key thing to know is this…We. Can. Do. It.
Not because we “have to” (we do have to do it), but because we can. It is the right thing, and it makes the world better not for only for us, but for everyone on the planet living and coming.
Here is the best thing…you can help.
You can share the DIG story with friends, family, and anyone looking to support farmers and the environment.
You can attend one of our events. We are hosting events on a regular basis…hop on our mailing list so we can keep you informed.
You can support one of our programs by attending as a learner or sponsoring a learner.
Most importantly…learn about how the food you eat gets on your plate. And ask questions about how it got from seed to your table.
Awareness is the first step. We can make the shift, but we all need to pull weight.
The DIG Team