Jo Lewry, CAFOD Portsmouth’s Community Participation Co-ordinator explores CAFOD’s new campaign called Fix the Food System…
Of the 800 million people in the world facing hunger, two thirds of them are agricultural workers. So, there’s a very real chance that the people who produce our food do not have enough food themselves. And the dominance of large-scale industrial agriculture leads to individual farmers having limited choices about which crops to grow and how to grow them.
CAFOD is launching a new campaign – about the way the world produces food. Called Fix the Food System, it’s all about drawing attention to the huge imbalance of power that exists between the big companies known as ‘agribusiness’ and small-scale farmers in communities around the world who make a living from what they can grow.
The current way that we produce food is actually very bad for the planet. Did you know that the food and agriculture sector is responsible for one third of harmful greenhouse gas emissions? Forests and rainforests are cut down or burned to make huge areas available for rearing cattle for meat and dairy or to grow soya to feed the animals that we want to eat. There is a lot of wastage, and huge areas of land are used in the production of crops for profit, often destined for export to serve the consumption habits of rich nations.
Making big changes to the global food system is critical to tackling the climate crisis.
There is a better way. Communities around the world, including some that CAFOD works with, are demonstrating that alternative food systems can produce abundant results, with methods that are good for people and good for the planet.
In Bangladesh, farmer Alpona Mondal speaks of how learning how to farm organically has changed her life: “We had not realised just how big a mistake we had made by moving away from the traditional ways of farming of our forefathers. We had become disconnected from nature, but now we are going back to it again. Our village has become a lot greener and healthier after so many of us shifted to organic farming, and the soil has greatly improved. This has had a big impact on the nutrition and health of the families living in this village.”
CAFOD’s Fix the Food System campaign is calling on the UK government to support these alternative food systems, rather than continuing to mainly support agribusiness. Parishes and schools will be invited to take part in the campaign this spring and summer, with activities designed to delve into these issues. In parishes, people will be invited to participate in Fix the Food System: a 7 stations journey.
Join our campaign and encourage your fellow parishioners at cafod.org.uk/food.