Wednesday, 5 September 2012


The farm where I am currently working is a tenant farm that is located in a natural park in Les Petites Alpilles, the Little Alps. This is an area, which does not get much rain and is mostly wooded so in the summer there is a high risk of fire.

The story of the farm is that the landlord advertised for a goat farmer who would graze their animals in the park so that they would eat the foliage, to keep it under control lowering the risk of fire. The farmer who won the position is my hostess her business is producing specialist high quality organic cheeses, from the milk she gets from grazing her goats in the park. The goats eat the foliage, that is unpalatable to any other agricultural animal-as far as I know at the same time safeguarding the landscape.

To assess the sustainability of an enterprise you can look at the affect it has on people, the planet and pounds, or in other words the social, environmental and economic impacts. This approach is called the ‘triple bottom line’ and can be a way for businesses to move their focus towards sustainability and away from solely making money. But sometimes a balance between people, planet and pounds is already there inherently.

Although the story of this farm is strung between those three concerns there will always be imbalances within that, for example, that the farmer lives in a basic homestead while the super rich landlord lives in a converted abbey. And that the cheese, produced as a local speciality is so highly regarded that it is transported all the way to Paris and is served in a 5 star hotel.

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