Farmer Profile: Pierre-Olivier Brassard of Union Paysanne, QC

Posted by Ayla Fenton on May 28, 2015 2 Comments

Pierre-olivier photo

Pierre-Olivier Brassard, organic certified family farmer located in the province of Québec, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. Cultivating on a one hectare CSA farm, feeding 150 families throughout 15 weeks with 45 vegetables varieties in average each season within a bio-intensive model. Member of the Union Paysanne’s international committee and coordination committee.

I started my agricultural career when I was 13 years old on a conventional potato farm with my uncle and cousin. Afterwards I aligned my academic formation toward farm management and then carried on to horticultural production. One day during a soil conservation class a teacher asked me a question that changed my life : « Mr. Brassard, you are producing potatoes on 500 acres of your uncle’s land but you don’t keep any parcel to produce your own ? Why produce food commercially and afterwards have to shop in supermarkets to buy your own ? »

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So I began a personal reflection that brought me to read various books of different authors on the subject, such as: Marie-Monique Robin, Claude Bourguignon, Vandana Shiva, Elliot Coleman and Laure Waridel. They all brought my desire to work in a food production model promoting agroecology, food sovereignty, agriculture’s social and community responsibility, and most of all food production as a common good rather than only merchandise.

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My involvement in Union Paysanne is based upon its belonging to La Via Campesina, of which we are the proud and the only organizational representative in the province of Québec. Everyday this world-wide peasant movement reminds me that I’m not alone in confirming that Mother Earth must be protected; that peasants are biodiversity’s guardians; that all human beings are equals without regard to sex, religion or skin colour; that agriculture has to cool down the planet; that indigenous peoples rights concerning their ancestral lands have to be respected; and finally that eating is voting 3 times a day!

GLOBALIZE STRUGGLE! GLOBALIZE HOPE! VIVA LA VIA CAMPESINA!

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