Growing Concerns in Food Security

Photo by Didier Gentilhomme

09 June 2011

From speculators toying with commodity prices on international markets, to the startling amount of food wasted in developed countries, to reduced harvests due to climate change, all recent headlines point to food security.

  • The New York Times published, “A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself,” an in-depth article laden with info-graphics and images covering the effects of a rapidly changing climate on the price and availability of food.
  • In “Cutting Food Waste to Feed the World”  the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reveals that roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption each year is wasted. This amounts to nearly 1.3 billion tonnes of food.

Many of the farmers and workers in the developing world are affected by all sides of the problem. While prices driven up by speculative markets provide greater income, most gains are canceled out by smaller harvests and higher prices for food and production inputs.

Fairtrade farmers and workers are among the more than 450 million small scale producers around the world reliant on agriculture for their way of life. A new blog post from Barbara Crowther of the Fairtrade Foundation looks at how Fairtrade farmers can be part of the solution and how producer organizations can provide greater stability for communities dealing with difficult markets. 

She also links to Oxfam’s recently launched “Grow Campaign,” an international effort to bring attention to the growing food crisis.

 

 
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