HRH Prince Charles on the Future of Food


(bell ringing) – Your Royal Highness,
distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, welcome
to Georgetown University. We’re deeply honored to
host His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, especially just five days
after the joyous occasion of his son’s marriage. Please allow me to extend my
congratulations Your Highness on this wonderful event. Today His Royal Highness
will discuss a topic of national and global significance: the role of sustainable agriculture in addressing the world’s
most pressing issues from environmental
sustainability to global poverty to economic security. It is a great privilege
to serve as a venue both for our nation and for the Academy, both of which strive to
address the challenges of sustainability, and it
is an honor to be a part of today’s larger conference
on the future of food which has brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers to contribute their
knowledge and perspective to this important topic. Georgetown last had the opportunity to host His Royal Highness
in the fall of 2005 when he participated in a seminar on faith and social responsibility. Since then significant
developments have been made in the field of sustainability with heightened focus placed today on the impact of globalization, on responsible consumption of
our world’s shared resources. The Prince of Wales has
been a visionary leader in addressing this issue
for nearly 30 years. He has been one of the
world’s most innovative and admired advocates of
sustainable agriculture, ecosystem resilience and
green energy sources. His leadership can be
seen in numerous spheres from his revolutionary
decision in the early 1980s to pursue only sustainable
organic practices in the High Grove Gardens
and Dutchy Home Farm to his stewardship of
organizations committed to sustainability in the United Kingdom, to his extensive publications, including his most recent book The Elements of Organic Gardening and his 2010 documentary, Harmony, to his advocacy on a global
scale through initiatives like the International
Sustainability Unit. His Royal Highness recently captured one of the primary issues
driving today’s dialogue on sustainable practices
in a speech delivered to the European Parliament during the Low Carbon
Prosperity Summit in February. He discussed the pressing
need for a new framework to organize our approach to
sustainability when he said, “We need to meet the challenge
of decoupling economic growth “from increased consumption in such a way “that both the well-being
of nature’s ecology “and our own economic needs do not suffer. “if we do not think about
creating such a framework “and resolve that central dilemma soon, “then I fear we are in for
a very rough ride indeed.” The Prince of Wales’ emphasis
on the interconnections between sustainability, economic growth, and our future make this
an inspirational approach and one that resonates deeply with our work here at Georgetown. We too understand that our actions as consumers have a direct
impact on the physical and economic sustainability
of this University and we’ve developed initiatives prioritizing responsible
consumption in response. We’ve committed to cutting
Georgetown’s carbon emissions by half by 2020 by adopting
LEED Silver standards for all new construction
and major renovations. We’ve joined nearly 30
other leading universities from throughout the world to sign the Sustainable Campus Charter which memorializes each of our commitments to reporting annually on meeting
our sustainability goals. Our world’s universities
have a shared responsibility to engage the questions and challenges posed by the urgent need to
adopt more sustainable practices and to cultivate more
resilient ecosystems. We not only must lead by example but must also engage our students in learning and discovery
that will help them to become agents of change capable of creating new frameworks
for our future well-being. We must inspire our students to go on to provide the
innovative solutions that will allow all of
us to live in harmony with our neighbors and our planet. Your Royal Highness,
once again we are honored that you’ve joined us this
morning to speak with us about these challenges. Welcome to Georgetown. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to introduce His Royal
Highness the Prince of Wales. (audience applauding) – President DeGioia, Ladies and Gentlemen. Having such fond memories
of my last visit here, it really is a great
joy to be invited back to Georgetown again to
speak at this conference. It certainly makes a change from making embarrassing speeches about my eldest son
during wedding receptions and things like that. But I’m afraid my one regret today is that I have missed the
first panel discussion, chaired by Eric Schlosser,
who has done so much, if I may say so, to raise
awareness of the key issues in his important film and in his writing. I know that Eric has outlined why this conference is so vital. The world is gradually
waking up to the fact that creating sustainable food
systems will become paramount in the future because of
the enormous challenges now facing food production. The Oxford English Dictionary
defines sustainability as “keeping something going continuously.” And the need to keep things
going for future generations, in other words, for all of you
students and your families, whether here at Georgetown or, through the wonders of
modern technology, I’m told, elsewhere across this vast country, is quite frankly the reason I have made the long
journey to Washington, and probably losing my
voice now through jetlag. Now one or two of you may have noticed that over the past 30
years I have been venturing into extremely dangerous territory by speaking about the future of food. I have all the scars to prove it. Questioning the conventional
world view is a risky business, believe you me. And the only reason I have done so is for the sake of your generation and for the integrity of nature herself. It is your future that concerns me and that of your
grandchildren, and theirs too. That is how far we
should be looking ahead. I have no intention of being
confronted by my grandchildren, demanding to know why on
Earth we didn’t do something about the many problems that existed, when we knew what was going wrong. The threat of that question,
the responsibility of it, is precisely why I have gone on challenging the assumptions of our day. And I would urge you, if
I may, to do the same, because we need to face up to asking whether how we
produce our food is actually fit for purpose in the very
challenging circumstances of the 21st century. We simply cannot ignore
that question any longer. Now very nearly 30 years ago, I began by talking about the issue, but I realized in the
end I had to go further. I had to put my concern
into some sort of action, to demonstrate how else we might do things so that we secure food
production for the future, but also, crucially, to take care of the
Earth that sustains us. Because if we don’t do that, if we do not work within nature’s system, then nature will fail to be the durable, continuously sustaining
force she has always been. Only by safeguarding nature’s
resilience can we hope to have a resilient
form of food production and ensure food security in the long term. This, then, is the challenge facing us. We have to maintain a
supply of healthy food at affordable prices when
there is mounting pressure on nearly every element
affecting the process. In some cases we are pushing
nature’s life support systems so far they are struggling to
cope with what we ask of them. Soils are being depleted, demand for water is
growing ever more voracious and the entire system is at the mercy of an increasingly
fluctuating price of oil. Remember that when we talk about agriculture and food production, we are talking about a complex
and interrelated system and it is simply not possible to single out just one objective, like maximizing production, without also ensuring that the system which delivers those increased yields meets society’s other needs. And as Eric has highlighted, I think, these should include the
maintenance of public health, the safeguarding of rural employment, the protection of the environment and contributing to
overall quality of life. So ladies and gentlemen, I trust that this
conference will not shy away from the big questions. Chiefly, how can we create
a more sustainable approach to agriculture while
recognizing those wider and important social
and economic parameters, an approach that is capable
of feeding the world with a global population rapidly
heading for nine billion? And can we do so amid so many
competing demands on land, in an increasingly volatile climate and when levels of the
planet’s biodiversity are under such threat
or in serious decline? Now as I see it, these pressures mean we haven’t
much choice in the matter. We are going to have to
take some very brave steps. We will have to develop
much more sustainable, or durable forms of food production because the way we have
done things up to now are no longer as viable as
they once appeared to be. The more I talk with
people about this issue, the more I realize how vague
the general picture remains of the perilous state we are in. So, just to be absolutely clear, I feel I should offer
you a quick pen sketch of just some of the
evidence that this is so. Certainly, internationally, food insecurity is a growing problem. There are also many now who consider that global food systems
are well on the way to being in crisis. Yield increases for staple
food crops are declining. They have dropped from 3%
in the 1960s to 1% today, and that is really worrying
because, for the first time, that rate is less than the
rate of population growth. And all of this, of course, has to be set against the
ravages caused by climate change. Already yields are suffering
in Africa and India where crops are failing to cope with ever-increasing temperatures
and fluctuating rainfall. We all remember the failure
of last year’s wheat harvest in Russia and droughts in China. They have caused the
cost of food to rocket and, with it, inflation around the world, stoking social discontent
in many countries, notably in the Middle East. It is a situation I fear will
only become more volatile as we suffer yet more natural disasters. Set against these threats to yields is the ever-growing demand for food. The United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization estimates that the demand will rise by 70% between now and 2050. The curve is quite astonishing. The world somehow has to find the means of feeding a staggering
219,000 new mouths every day. That’s about 450 since I started talking. What is more, with
incomes rising in places like China and India, there will also be more
people wealthy enough to consume more, so the demand
for meat and dairy products may well increase yet further. And all that extra livestock
will compete for feed more and more with an energy sector that has massively expanded
its demand for biofuels. Here in the United States, I am told, four out of every 10 bushels of corn are now grown
to fuel motor vehicles. This is the context we find ourselves in and it is set against the backdrop of a system heavily
dependent upon fossil fuels and other forms of
diminishing natural capital, mineral fertilizers and so on. Most forms of industrialized agriculture now have an umbilical dependency on oil, or natural gas and other
non-renewable resources. One study I have read
estimates that a person today on a typical Western diet is, in effect, consuming nearly a US
gallon of diesel every day. And when you consider that
in the past decade the cost of artificial nitrogen
fertilizers has gone up fourfold and the cost of potash three times, you start to see how uncomfortable
the future could become if we do not wean ourselves
off our dependency. And that’s not even counting the impact of higher fuel prices on the
other costs of production, transport and processing, all of which are passed
on to the consumer. So it is indeed a vicious circle. Then add the supply of
land into the equation, where do we grow all of the extra plants or graze all that extra stock when urban expansion is such a pressure? Here in the United States I
am told that one acre is lost to development every minute of every day, which means that since
1982 an area the size of Indiana has been built over, though that is small fry
compared with what is happening in places like India where,
somehow, they have to find a way of housing another 300 million
people in the next 30 years. But on top of this is the very
real problem of soil erosion. Again, here in the United States, soil is being washed away 10 times faster than the Earth can replenish it, and it is happening 40 times
faster in China and India. 22,000 square miles of
arable land is turning into desert every year and, all told, it appears a quarter of
the world’s farmland, that’s two billion acres, is degraded. So given these pressures,
it seems likely we will have to grow plants in more difficult terrain. But the only sustainable
way to do that will be by increasing the long
term fertility of the soil, because, as I say, achieving
increased production using imported, non-renewable inputs is simply not sustainable. There are many other pressures on the way we produce our food, but I just need to highlight
one more, if I may, before I move on to
the possible solutions, because it is so important. It is that magical substance we have taken for granted for so long: water. In a country like the United States, 1/5 of all your grain production is dependent upon irrigation. For every pound of beef produced
in the industrial system, it takes 2,000 gallons of water. That is a lot of water and
there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot
keep up with the demand. The Ogallala Aquifer on the
Great Plains, for instance, is depleting by 1.3
trillion gallons faster than rainfall can replenish it. And when you consider that of
all the water in the world, only 5% of it is fresh and a
quarter of that actually sits in Lake Baikal in Siberia, then there is not, in fact, a lot left. Of the remaining 4%, nearly 3/4 of it is used in agriculture, but 30% of that water is wasted. If you set that figure
against future predictions, then the picture gets even worse. By 2030 it is estimated
that the world’s farmers will need 45% more water than today. And yet already, because of irrigation, many of the world’s largest
rivers no longer reach the sea for part of the year, including, I am afraid, the
Colorado and Rio Grande. Ladies and gentlemen, you must forgive me for
laboring these points, but the impact of all of this
has already been immense. Over a billion people, 1/7
of the world’s population are hungry and another billion suffer from what is called hidden hunger, which is the lack of essential
vitamins and nutrients in their diets. And on the reverse side of the coin, let us not forget the other tragic fact, that over a billion people in the world are now
considered overweight or obese. It is an increasingly insane picture. In one way or another,
half the world finds itself on the wrong side of the food equation. You can see, I hope, that in
a global ecosystem that is, to say the least, under stress, our apparently unbridled demands
for energy, land and water puts overwhelming pressure
on our food systems. I don’t think I’m alone in
thinking that the current model is simply not durable in the long term. It is not keeping everything
going continuously and it is, therefore, not sustainable. So what is a sustainable
food production system? We should be very clear about
it, or else we will end up with the same system that we have now, but just dipped in green wash. For me, it has to be a form of agriculture that does not exceed the carrying capacity of its local ecosystem
and which recognizes that the soil is the planet’s
most vital renewable resource. Top soil is the cornerstone
of the prosperity of nations. It acts as a buffer against
drought and as a carbon sink and it is the primary source of the health of all animals, plants and people. If we degrade it, as we are doing, then nature’s capital will
lose its innate resilience and it won’t be very long, believe you me, before our human economic
capital and economic systems also begin to lose their resilience. Let’s, then, try and look for a moment at what very probably is not
a genuinely sustainable form of agriculture, for the long term, and by that I mean generations yet unborn. In my own view it is surely
not dependent upon the use of chemical pesticides,
fungicides and insecticides, nor, for that matter, upon
artificial fertilizers and growth-promoters or GM. You would have perhaps thought it unlikely to create vast monocultures and to treat animals like machines by using industrial rearing systems. Nor would you expect it
to drink the Earth dry, deplete the soil, clog streams
with nutrient-rich run-off and create, out of sight and out of mind, enormous dead zones in the oceans. You would also think, wouldn’t
you, that it might not lead to the destruction of whole
cultures or the removal of many of the remaining small
farmers around the world? Nor, presumably, would
it destroy biodiversity at the same time as cultural
and social diversity. On the contrary, genuinely
sustainable farming maintains the resilience
of the entire ecosystem by encouraging a rich level
of biodiversity in the soil, in its water supply and in the wildlife, the birds, insects and bees that maintain the health
of the whole system. Sustainable farming also
recognizes the importance to the soil of planting trees; of protecting and enhancing
water-catchment systems; of mitigating, rather than
adding to, climate change. To do this it must be a mixed approach. One where animal waste is recycled and organic waste is composted to build the soil’s fertility. One where antibiotics are only used on animals to treat illnesses, not deployed in prophylactic
doses to prevent them; and where those animals are
fed on grass-based regimes as nature actually intended. Now you may think this
an idealized definition, that it isn’t possible in the real world, but if you consider
this the gold standard, then for food production
to become more sustainable it has to reduce the
use of those substances that are dangerous and harmful
not only to human health, but also to the health
of those natural systems, such as the oceans, forests and wetlands, that provide us with
the services essential to life on this planet, but which at the moment we
rashly take for granted. At the same time, it
has to minimize the use of non-renewable external inputs. Fertilizers that do not come from renewable sources do not
enable a sustainable approach which, ultimately, comes
down to giving back to nature as much as it takes out and recognizing that there are necessary limits
to what the Earth can do. Equally, it includes
the need for producers to receive a reasonable price for their labors above
the price of production. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leads me to the nub of what
I would like you to consider. Having myself tried to farm as sustainably as possible for some 26 years in England, which is not as long as
other people here I know, I certainly know of
plenty of current evidence that adopting an approach which mirrors the miraculous ingenuity of nature can produce
surprisingly high yields of a wide range of
vegetables, arable crops, beef, lamb and milk. And yet we are told
ceaselessly that sustainable or organic agriculture
cannot feed the world. I find this claim very hard to understand. Especially when you consider the findings of an impeccably well-researched International Assessment
of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology
for Development, IAASTD, conducted in 2008 by the UN. I am very pleased, by the way, to see that the co-chair of that report, Professor Hans Herren, will be taking part in the International Panel discussion towards the end of the conference because his report drew on evidence from more than 400 scientists worldwide and concluded that small-scale, family-based farming systems, adopting so-called
agro-ecological approaches, were among the most productive systems in developing countries. This was a major study and
a very explicit statement. And yet, for some strange reason, the conclusions of this exhaustive report seem to have vanished without trace. So ladies and gentlemen, this is the heart of the
problem, it seems to me, why it is that an industrialized
system, deeply dependent on fossil fuels and chemical treatments, is promoted as viable, while a much less damaging
one is rubbished and condemned as unfit for purpose. The reasons lie in the anomalies that exist behind the scenes. And I would certainly urge you, first, to look at the slack in the system. Under the current, inherently
unsustainable system, in the developed world
we actually throw away approximately 40% of
the food we have bought. Food is now much cheaper than it was and one of the unexpected
consequences of this is, perhaps, that we do not value it as once we did. I cannot help feeling some of
this problem could be avoided with better food education. You only have to consider
the progress your First Lady, Mrs. Obama, has achieved lately by launching her Let’s Move! campaign, a wonderful initiative, if I may say so. With manufacturers making
their Healthy Weight Commitment and pledging to cut 1.5
trillion calories a year from their products; with Walmart promising to
sell products with less sugar, salt and trans fats, and
to reduce their prices on healthy items like fresh
fruits and vegetables; and with the First Lady’s big drive to improve healthy eating in schools and the excellent
thought of urging doctors to write out prescriptions for exercise. These are marvelous ideas that I am sure will
make a major difference. Alas, in developing countries
approximately 40% of food is lost between farm and market. Could that be remedied too, this time by better on-farm storage? And we should also remember that many, if not most, of the farmers in the developing world
are achieving a fraction of the yields they might do
if the soil was nurtured more with an eye to organic matter content and improved water management. However, the really big
issue we need to consider is how conventional,
agri-industrial techniques are able to achieve the success they do, and how we measure that success. And here I come to the
aspect of food production that troubles me most. The well-known commentator in
this country on food matters, Michael Pollan, pointed out recently that, so far, the combined market for local and organic food, both in the United States and Europe, has only reached around
2% to 3% of total sales. And the reason, he says, is quite simple. It is the difficulty in
making sustainable farming more profitable for producers and sustainable food more
affordable for consumers. With so much growing concern about this, my International Sustainability Unit, which the president mentioned
earlier, carried out a study into why sustainable food
production systems struggle to make a profit, and how it is that intensively
produced food costs less. The answer to that last
question may seem obvious, but my ISU study reveals
a less apparent reason. It looked, ladies and gentlemen, at five case studies and
discovered two things: firstly, that the system
of farm subsidies is geared in such a way that it favors
overwhelmingly those kinds of agricultural techniques
that are responsible for the many problems
I have just outlined. And secondly, that the cost
of that damage is not factored into the price of food production. Consider, for example, what
happens when pesticides get into the water supply. At the moment, the water
has to be cleaned up at enormous cost to consumer water bills; the primary polluter is not charged. Or take the emissions from the
manufacture and application of nitrogen fertilizer, which
are potent greenhouse gases. They, too, are not costed
at source into the equation. This has led to a situation where farmers are better
off using intensive methods and where consumers who would prefer to buy sustainably produced
food are unable to do so because of the price. There are many producers and consumers who want to do the right
thing but, as things stand, doing the right thing is penalized. And so this raises an
admittedly difficult question, has the time arrived when
a long, hard look is needed at the way public subsidies
are generally geared? And should the recalibration
of that gearing be considered so that it helps healthier
approaches and techniques? Could there be benefits if
public finance were redirected so that subsidies are linked specifically to farming practices that
are more sustainable, less polluting and of wide
benefit to the public interest, rather than what many
environmental experts have called the curiously
perverse economic incentive system that too frequently
directs food production? The point, surely, is
to achieve a situation where the production of
healthier food is rewarded and becomes more affordable and that the Earth’s
capital is not so eroded. Nobody wants food prices to go up, but if it is the case
that the present low price of intensively produced
food in developed countries is actually an illusion,
only made possible by transferring the costs
of cleaning up pollution or dealing with human health
problems onto other agencies, then could correcting
these anomalies result in a more beneficial arena where nobody is actually
worse off in net terms? It would simply be a more
honest form of accounting that may make it more
desirable for producers to operate more sustainably, particularly if subsidies were redirected to benefit sustainable
systems of production. It is, I think, a question
worth considering, and I only ask it because
my concern is simply that we seek to produce the
healthiest food possible from the healthiest environment
possible, for the long term, and to ensure that it is
affordable for ordinary consumers. There are, after all, already precedents for these kinds of measures,
particularly, for instance, in the way that governments around the world have
stimulated the growth of the renewable energy
market by the provision of market mechanisms and feed-in tariffs. Could what has been done for energy production be applied to food? Is this worth considering? After all, it could have a very powerful, transformative effect on the market for sustainably produced
food, with benefits all round. Certainly, the UN’s Environment
Program inspires hope when it estimates that the
greening of agriculture and fisheries would increase
economic value per year by 11% by 2050. The hugely overstretched stocks of the North East Atlantic Blue
Fin Tuna is a case in point, where it is estimated that a transition to sustainable fisheries
management could generate a profit of more than $500 million every year, as compared to the current
figure of $70 million, and that is after having received
$120 million in subsidies. It is also worth bearing in mind that these sorts of policies
which encourage more diversity, in terms of landscape,
community and products, often generate all sorts of
other positive results too, in tourism, forestry and industry. Now ladies and gentlemen, his all depends upon us
deepening our understanding of the relationship
between food, energy, water and economic security,
and then creating policies which reward producers who
base their farming systems on these principles. Simply because, if we do not
consider the whole picture and take steps with the health
of the whole system in mind, not only will we suffer
from rising food prices, we will also see the overall resilience of our economies and, in some instances, our ecological and social systems too, becoming dangerously unstable. If we do take such important steps, it seems to me that we
would also have to question whether it is responsible in
the long-term to have most of our food coming from
highly centralized processing and distribution systems. Raw materials are often sourced
many thousands of miles away from where we live, meat is processed in vast factories and then transported great
distances before being sold. And in light of the kinds of events we have been witnessing
more frequently of late, such as the horrific floods
in Pakistan last year and in Australia a few months ago, it is very easy to imagine
that with systems concentrated in such intense, large-scale ways, these events could quickly escalate into a global food crisis. So we have to consider how
we achieve food security in a world where commodity food
prices will inevitably rise. So, could one way be to put more emphasis on re-localizing the
production and distribution of key staple foods? Wouldn’t that create the
sort of buffer we will need if we are to face increasingly volatile and unpredictable world market prices? And ladies and gentlemen,
remember the point I made earlier. The fact that food production is part of a wider socio-economic landscape. We have to recognize that
social and economic stability is built upon valuing and
supporting local communities and their traditions. Smallholder agriculture
therefore has a pivotal role. Imagine if there was a
global food shortage; if it became much harder to import food in today’s quantities, where do countries turn
to for their staple foods? Is there not more resilience in a system where the necessary staple
foods are produced locally, so that if there are shocks to the system, there won’t be panic? And what is more, not only
can it be much more productive than it currently is, strengthening small farm
production could be a major force in preserving the traditional
knowledge and biodiversity that we lose at our peril. So might it be wise, given
the rather difficult situation we appear to be in, that if we do look at re-gearing
the way subsidies work, we include policies that focus funding on strengthening economic
and environmental diversity? This diversity is at the root of building resilient economies that have the adaptive capacity to deal with the increasingly
severe and frequent shocks that affect us all. Ladies and gentlemen, I am a
historian, not an economist, but what I am hinting at here
is that it is surely time to grasp one of the biggest nettles of all and re-assess what has
become a fundamental aspect of our entire economic model. As far as I can see, responding
to the problems we have with a business as usual
approach towards the way in which we measure GDP offers
us only short-term relief. It does not promise a long-term cure. Why? Because we cannot possibly
maintain the approach in the long-term if we
continue to consume our planet as rapaciously as we are doing. Capitalism ultimately
depends upon capital, but our capital ultimately
depends upon the health of nature’s capital. Whether we like it or not, the
two are in fact inseparable. There are alternative ways
to growing our food which, if used with new technology, things like precision
irrigation, for instance, would go a very long way to resolving some of the problems we face. If they are underpinned
by smarter financial ways of supporting them, they could
strengthen the resilience of our agriculture,
marine and energy systems. We could ensure a means
of supply that is capable of withstanding the sorts
of sudden fluctuations on international markets which
are bound to come our way, as the price of oil goes up and the impact of our
accelerating disruption of entire natural systems becomes greater. In essence what I am suggesting here is something very simple. We need to include in the
bottom line the true costs of food production, the
true financial costs and the true costs to the Earth. It is what I suppose you would call Accounting for Sustainability,
a name I gave to a project I set up six years ago,
initially to encourage businesses to expand their accounting process so that it incorporates
the interconnected impact of financial, environmental
and social elements on their long-term performance. What if Accounting for
Sustainability was applied to the agricultural sector? This was certainly the implicit suggestion in a recent and very
important study by the UN, The Economics of Ecosystems
and Biodiversity, or TEEB, assessed the
multi-trillion dollar importance to the world’s economy
of the natural world and concluded that the present system of national accounts needs
to be upgraded rapidly so they include the
health of natural capital, and thereby accurately reflect
how the services offered by natural ecosystems are performing, let alone are paid for. Incidentally, to create a
genuine market for such services, in the same way as a carbon
market has been created, could conceivably make a
substantial contribution to reducing poverty in
the developing world. And this is very important. If we hope to redress the market failure that will otherwise blight the
lives of future generations, we have to see that there
is a direct relationship between the resilience of
the planet’s ecosystems and the resilience of
our national economies. Ladies and gentlemen,
I hope you have begun to see my point, and that the other
universities are still with us. Essentially, we have to do more today to avert the catastrophes of tomorrow and we can only do that
by reframing the way we approach the economic
problems that confront us. We have to put nature back
at the heart of the equation. If we are to make our
agricultural and marine systems, and therefore our economies,
resilient in the long term, then we have to design
policies in every sector that bring the true costs
of environmental destruction and the depletion of
natural capital to the fore and support an ecosystem based approach. And we have to nurture and
support the communities of smallholders and family farmers. I trust that these thoughts
will help to fire your debates and focus your thoughts for
the rest of the conference. Who knows, perhaps at the end of it, we might be able to herald
a new Washington Consensus? Like the previous version which has so dominated economic
thinking around the world, it could be a consensus
that acknowledges the need for markets and the role
of the private sector, but which also embraces the urgent need for a rounded approach, one that recognizes the real opportunities and trade-offs needed
to build a food system that enhances and ensures the maintenance of social, economic and
environmental capital. The new food movement could be at the heart of this Consensus, acting as an agent for truly
transformational change; not just, ladies and gentlemen,
by addressing the challenges of making our food systems
more sustainable and secure but also because, as far as
I am concerned, agriculture, not agri-industry, holds the key to the improvement of public health, the expansion of rural employment, the enrichment of education
and the enhancement of quality of life. Critically, such a new
Washington Consensus might embrace the willingness
of all aspects of society, the public, private and NGO
sectors, large corporations and small organizations, to work together to
build an economic model built upon resilience and diversity, which are the two great characteristics, if I may say so, of your nation. Such a partnership is vital. Indeed, it has never been needed more and I am tremendously inspired
by recent initiatives here in the United States. You cannot help but feel
hopeful, for instance, when such huge corporations like Walmart back local sourcing of food and decide to stock their shelves with sustainable or organic produce. Industry is clearly listening. Everyone has to work
together and we all have to recognize the principle that Mahatma Gandhi observed
so incisively when he said that “we may utilize the gifts
of nature just as we choose, “but in her books the
debts are always equal “to the credits.” It is, I feel, our apparent reluctance to recognize the interrelated
nature of the problems and therefore the solutions, that lies at the heart of our predicament and certainly on our ability to determine the future of food. How we deal with this systemic failure in our thinking will
define us as a civilization and determine our survival. Ladies and gentlemen, let
me just end by reminding you of the words of one of your own founding
fathers and visionaries. It was George Washington
who entreated your forebears to “Raise a standard to which the wise “and honest can repair; “the rest is in the hands of God,” and, indeed, as so often in the past, in the hands of your great country, the United States of America. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. (audience applauding) – Your Royal Highness, on
behalf of all those here for today’s conference, I wish to express our appreciation to you for the inspiration of your
words and of your example and our gratitude for
your presence here today. Ladies and gentlemen,
once again please join me in expressing our appreciation to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. (audience applauding)




Comments
  1. FINALLY a leader is forward thinking and cares… wish our leaders in USA did too! Unfortunately half of the US Government worked for Monsanto!

  2. why are you people agreeing with this clown? He is just rewording and pushing GMO "durable" cancer causing shit food that is poisoning the public. This guy isnt eating from any "sustainable" farms. he's eating from massive organic farms that feed the elite… and having each meal prepared by professional chefs. Less sugar just means more chemicals. Have fun with your chronic diseases.

  3. I did nit know you and after hearing your sound words and common sense approach, I think you are one of our greatest leaders in this issue. Thank you for a remarkable honest talk. I would like to hear more of your thoughts and adice to correct these harmful ways of late. I also applaud your determination and conviction to honesty and for being brave.

  4. Bravo, what a splendid speech in light of the endless and useless jibberish we have heard of lately. You Sir are a Renissance man and will live as a great leader.

  5. Have you seen the price of food from his farm under the duchy of cornwall label? If he wants us all to eat that kind of food he should charge every day prices. He's as ridiculous as his father who thinks that families should be restricted to 2 children when he himself has 4, or his son who sympathises with homeless people when he has access to more than a dozen homes in this country alone. They are true exponents of 'us and them' and an awful lot of 'them' go for it.

  6. What a load of nonesense. His european union set farmers up to over produce, get subsidies for it, over invest, get into debt, build up massive food mountains which were all wasted and then they changed the rules overnight and the farmers have now had it on every front. Mansanto rules. Why is this world ruled by these evil pratts? We need to stand together and get rid of the lot of em.

  7. Very disappointed that he's closing his shop The Veg Shed (produce from his Duchy Farm) because it's not sustainable and not making a profit as his produce was pricier than the supermarket. I loved his book Elements of Organic gardening and wonder why his prices were so high or did his shop fail for another reason?

  8. GlennElliotKeller, if you think my comment is so ignorant, which one do YOU work for then. Monsanto or the US Government? Have you watched the documentary Future of Food or The World According to Monsanto? Did you know Obama Michael Taylor was just appointed Senior Advisor to the commissioner of the FDA? This is the same man that was in charge of FDA policy when GMO's were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety.

  9. GlennElliottKeller, I recommend you watch the American documentary film "The Future of Food" by Deborah Koons Garcia and The World According to Monsanto. if you think my comment is so ignorant, you must work for Monsanto or US Government. Did you know Obama just appointed Michael Taylor Senior Advisor to the commissioner of the FDA? This is the same man that was in charge of FDA policy when GMO's were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety.

  10. Why does anyone need to pay for food Charles?? Affordable Prices? What does that even mean? If you can't pay, you can't eat? Why are the Royals looking after themselves with strictly organic farming and shoving GMO's down the throats of the people?? Agenda 21 Charles?? Food grows naturally on our planet, it never needed your help. HAARP, Geoengineering etc, were never intended to help humanity. Fact! You cannot own food or land or people Charles. This is a Planet, not a business opportunity!!!

  11. His Royal Highness?!! This half wit was good friends with the UK's most prolific paedophile and necrophiliac, one Jimmy Savile. He was also involved in the homosexual rape of a Palace employee by the name of George Smith. Shortly after Smith outed Prince Dobby he "commited suicide". These pigs cant afford anyone undermining their perceived right to bury their snouts in the national trough.
    Diana found out the hard way what happens when one rocks the royal boat.

  12. Ваше Королевское Высочество Принц Чарльз Филипп Артур Джордж, Принц Уэльский и граф Честер, герцог Корнуолла, герцог Rothesay, граф Каррик, барон Ренфру, господин островов, князь и Великий Стюард Шотландии, Рыцарь Компаньон самого Благородного Ордена Подвязки, Рыцарь из древнейших и Самых Благородных Ордена чертополоха, Великий Мастер и Первый и главный Рыцарь Большого Креста самого Почетного Ордена Бани, Член Ордена за Заслуги, кавалер Ордена Австралии, товарищ Королевы Сужбы Заказа, Почетный Член Саскачеван ордена за Заслуги Главный Великий Командор Ордена Logoho Член Ее Величества Самого Почетного Тайного Совета, флигель-Адьютант Ее Величества!
     Many Years! Many Years! Many Years!!!
     Thank for your lecture.
    +
    Your in the Christ,
    a spiritual daughter
    Natalia Aleksandrova

  13. Charles on the basic econimics the food was much more cheeper back then they increased the prices on everything even oils an garments the oils the scent just like it was in the bc times lilac an rose scent soap to any more the antibacteria good vivia

  14. Charles its good to consider your family is it against the law to feed your family an talk an give good advice is the against the law where is freedom an our liberty has the president done croaked over the principals of the law in the united states whats his problem he suppose to be making things better not where the system falling apart we need our economy to show we have standards some type of basic rules an laws a regulagitions to cover the Citizen s of this country for example our lawyers

  15. Messages related what kind message is you sending out to our kids then you expect them to live right.vivia

  16. Messages related these majority i associate with wasn't picking at people in general they about something an church .vivia

  17. Charles i like your speechs on the universal collège on their is one thang about the estates of families no one in cluding obama intruding on people conversation like he did in the debate an couldn't stay behind the desk like he was told just like in this case stay out from behind other people ez droping an using their name including yours the message was for you not him . Vivia

  18. The Prince mentioned some great solutions to increase food security and sustainability in a world increasingly rewarding the large food producers and processors and industrialists who own the lands, oil, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals which promote profits, land erosion, water waste, and polluted foods.
    Current government subsidies do not reflect the cost of food, this needs to be changed first. Small producers need financial subsidies to become viable options to large economies of scale. The real cost of non-sustainably produced foods needs to be made visible to account for the long term costs of water waste and soil erosion, and loss of arable lands to droughts and urbanization.
    It is only by moving who is being subsidized and revealing the true costs of agriculture that the public can choose to buy food produced in sustainable ways.
    The waste of 40% of food going to market in struggling countries and the waste of 40% of purchased food needs to be addressed with better storage of foods and methods to sustain food quality longer assisted by buying more locally and consuming more locally.

  19. Hi charles you got a good chracter an a fine family no body ever be like you or meet your standard since you had a hand in building america .good luck in your career an future .

  20. Is this university in the US or the UK?
    The man who spoke at the beginning seemed to have an American accent.
    Forgive my ignorance for I am neither a Brit nor an American 🙂

  21. It cost 7 to 8 million GB pounds per anum to produce one one kilo of royal carrots which never reach the market. His small holding produes nothing compared to the required volume of food required to sustaine the royals boom or bust consummer society. His fears are that after 20 to 30 years of destroying Bristish Industry that he as a so called small holder is not getting first prize. So he is seeking greater support, subsidies and rewards for his form of substaiable farming. By all means put his vegetables in the market with out subsidies and they may sell at competitive prices. But with the present subsidies a pound of sausages would cost 8 to 9 hundred pounds a pound costing the tax payer about 2 to 8 thousand pounds more. He can not find the land yet he is the prince of Wales. Some of the finest land in the world. The Duke of Cornwall owns most of cornwall but can't find it. They own the land the University I went to, so thousands of stundents pay the royal owners. They don't pay land tax but can produce economically viable food. As the monarch of Australia and Canada as well as other vast tracks of land he can not see where to farm.
    It is better if he is trying to organise Washingtons food production system as everytime the organise over here itmeans hugh losses to the people below the hist tires of society. The problem is they only look at managing other peoples resulting in royal gains and losses to those who were just helped. Their goverment organises at our expense the Economic community all for their benifit. They replaced free trade across borders to taxed imports resulting in our neibors reduction of trade and where trade from abroad does exist only thhe royals can afford to by. With unbelievable personal fortunes they seek to manage all the new industries because they destroyed all the old ones. He said it himself, sadly they are all gone. He never mentioned they taxed them out of existence to produce a few organic vegetables. Which can't ever be food for the masses as it requires the masses to produce enough taxed income to produce his few. A broiler house system puts over a million chickens per week in to the supermarkets at a fraction of his organic prize winning multi million pound veg. Yes lots of small holdings sounds idyllic and a benifit as lots of small produces. But lots of those small produers barely produce enough even for them selves as he knows. That is why he seeks subsidisation for in efficient agricultural systems. It results in thousands of farmers without enough. Margret Thatcher put intrest rates up to 20% destroying most small holdings who went bust through debt subsidiesing him and the extended royal family. But he easily finds his problems in the USA but no solutions. The California drought can be solved by restocking lake mead from the waters which run off the Eastern rockies into the Mississippi Valley. They just had flood waters up to their wastes whilst California, the Colorado and subsequently Mexico had none. You simply build a water channel high up in the Western Rockies where the rains are. Whilst downstrea Mississippi is being flooded out they are not going to miss half their streams higher up being diverted. $10, billion dollars saved from prevented flood damage per anumn would go some way to paying for the channel. Make the channel controlable with an open and closeable flood gate and you can turn in on or off when needed. Plus providing far more water for irrigation and therefore for futher agriculture. Allowing expansion of growing rather than the present contraction and rationing of water. They could even have lawns back in Vegas. If the USA can build the Las Angeles flood drain then it could as easily build a channel to spiral half way arould a mountain to fill the higher resorvoirs.

  22. HRH PRINCE CHARLES ON THE FUTURE OF FOOD
    Uploaded on 12 May 2011
    The Prince of Wales told an audience of students and faculty May 4 that the model of food production prevalent in the 21st century world just doesn't work.

    "We will have to develop much more sustainable, or durable forms of food production because the way we have done things up to now are no longer as viable as they once appeared to be," the prince said during "The Future of Food" conference, hosted by Washington Post Live.

    Prince Charles last visited Georgetown in 2005, when he attended a seminar on faith and social responsibility.
    Category
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cljb32OuIK8
    News & Politics
    Licence
    Standard YouTube Licence
    JAN 18, 2015

  23. Georgetown University  
    WebsiteDirections
    Private university in Washington, D.C., United States of America
    Georgetown University is a private research university in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher education in the United States. Wikipedia
    Address: 3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20057, United States

  24. Hi charles I cant.get over obama getting on my page posing in different styles of clothes I not drugging on him or his clothes that frame never beat yours in a million years or my fore fathers founders in what they done for this country back then the balls an wilkerson an ballwins wrights irs nothing.in.this world he can.inpress me with my.people had all that viva wilkie

  25. The Royal family needed the fine Spencer bloodline with more true Royal English bloodlines than the Windsors – sadly the Windsor bloodline was somewhat polluted with such dreadfully poor genes historically in the Windsor family (this was made considerably worse by the Queen Mother who had FIVE cousins detained for their lifetimes in mental institutions, medically certified as imbeciles (inbreeding!) Prince Philips psychotic deranged mother was also committed to a mental asylum where she died after years of incarceration. The Queens uncle, Prince John was severly retarded and “like and animal”. Camilla of course was totally, totally unsuitable due to being an impure whore (riddled with numerous STDS and having been a prostitute since a girl) together with her worthless family having documented congenital syphilis! Furthermore, The Queen and Prince Philip are cousins too so perhaps its understandable that Tampax charles is mentally challenged and inbred – frankly he should have been aborted! Hopefully an accident will occur very soon or terrorist activity? and these two vile parasites will be wiped from the face of the earth!

  26. Everybody seems to hate Charlie. I like him. He never loved Diana and was forced into marrying her. But, I find him to be intelligent, compassionate, and regal in the best way. I’m happy to see him stand up as an advocate on issues of universal accord like climate and food development. It’s not like he’s getting into the nitty gritty of tax policy. I think he’ll make a fine king.

  27. I am very impressed to know about wide range of commitments of Prince Charles to Sustainable Development Goals, not only a protection of Ocean but also a sustainable food production by listening to his speech at the Ocean Conference hosted by EU in Malta in October 2017 and this conference at Georgetown University in May 2011.

  28. 3 Nations account for more than 50% of the world population; China who accounts for 1/3 of all world population, then India, and Africa. The rest of the world "combined" is less than 50%. Let that sink in.

  29. Charles does a good job at public speaking. You can see and hear his passion. That being said, he knows the elite behind GMOs and contaminated water! You all created these third world countries; and there all carbon based countries!

  30. sad to see how low most people's comments are–probably didn't even listen to speech, only want to spit vitriol about someone they don't even know instead of opening their ears & minds & learning something new. #read-a-book ya haters

  31. Blithering inbred idiot. It's OK if millions die at the hands of elitist food schemes. In fact he probably relishes the idea. He knows he is safe …. less serfs to protest his protected position.

  32. Fast forward to 2018, it's flooding everywhere…maybe he should take some paleo climate classes to get a more rounded picture .

  33. Still smuggling you biggest smugler in the planet, no money waw the new spice drug innovation is really working in UK people are selling sex for 4 pounds to bring you money it shows how much you love your own people homosexual marriage and pedophilia adoption was a personal choice? ," food"

  34. I have a visceral, yet uninformed in my opinion, dislike of all royalty – of course I say this as a commoner like us all here. However, even I – at age 50 from the piss poor culture of Chicago, USA – can now say that his accent is damn good. Though I have the highest (or lowest) envy of all royals – as we all do – we must admit that there is incredible "value" in having a "true role model" for how to comport oneself. Very few have made as many millions of dollars as I have – especially so quickly (my first USD$10MM was before age 30) – YET, there is this "one thing" which money can never buy – and that is what we can all "see" right here, yet rarely say out loud – and that is "CLASS." I came from a wealthy family, for sure, but "this" sort of class is simply "unattainable" for a Commoner. The extreme money that I've generated, is worth a fraction – dollar for dollar – compared to the equivalent dollars that Prince Charles would make, as a comparison. For example, take Brad Pitt or George Soros – each has made unimaginable dollars, yet neither (though they attempt) can carry themselves with "class." And yes, I understand that Prince Charles has a Nation, an Empire and a Peoples that buttress him and his Family "into that class," and Commoners like me or a "famous Commoner" like Pitt/Soros had only themselves. I'm afraid "that's exactly" what separates us all from "these Royals" (emphasized with envy, contempt and pure jealousy). I hope that, in the future, a Commoner like me can find out how to "elevate" to " a true Upper Class" – when I have Parents/Pedigree/Lineage that is "anything BUT Upper Class."

  35. His Serene Highness, speaking from his mansion at Twembly-On-Ponce near Bucktoothshire, graced us all with his views on how superior home-grown vegetables taste. He then shagged the dickens out of Camilla and winked at himself in the mirror. He will be a magnificent monarch.

  36. Excellent speech baby. It is imperative to positively promote the importance of growth, development, productivity and sustainability in food chain management.

  37. Such a difference between the English of the presenter and the Prince 🤣🤣🤣.
    It can be heard 😂😂😂

  38. I am waiting here still in Long island for you. The same assigned Honourable Leaders, International Court, my Spiritual Figure Head, adviser The Holy Father Pope Francis, The Monarch in Great Britain and Prince Charles is responsible for my well-being. There is a critical breach of security, enormously amounts of hidden danger outside of this perimeter. I won't leave until you get here.

  39. Good night to my husband, friend, and soulmate. May the God of the Universe abundantly bless all your future endeavors, gracefully navigated your aspirations and optimistic goals. Therefore, patiently trust the process, acknowledging that Almighty God always order the steps, plans of one walks in total obedience to His will. God is skillfully formatting the "clay in the potter hands", the end production must be perfectly crafted, trust in God. Continuation requires vigilance, true commitment to self, servitude and avoidance of distraction. I love you and will always stand with you, God bless you, PEACE.

  40. The future of food in my opinion is backyard gardens or small farm local food through restoration of soil and organic non pesticide practices. Climate change is Mother Nature’s way of sweeping away the problem-human destruction of nature

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