Industrial agriculture is aggressively positioning itself as the only solution to feeding a growing human population. But industrial agriculture is not about feeding the world but maximizing profits of corporations by producing commodities for whichever market pays the most. Rather it is a web of 3 billion small food producers that is the backbone of global food security. These farmers, fisher folk and pastoralists strive to nourish 70% of the world’s population but they are thwarted by policies that are dictated by trade rules, perverse intellectual property rights and land tenure policies based on almost a thousand year history of institutionalized land grabbing which contrive to keep people hungry and poor.
They make it illegal for farmers to save and use their own seeds. Farmers are denied access to extension, training, resources, infrastructure and local markets that they need to strengthen their production systems, enhance their livelihoods and nourish their communities. Organic practices and systems and participatory approaches are highly suitable for strengthening the world’s small food producers so they can nourish themselves, their communities and our shared planet. The affordability, accessibility and robustness of organic practices make them the logical choice for cash poor farmers.
IFOAM’s Food Security campaign aims to strengthen smallholders and local communities by putting them at the center of policy processes. It means reversing perverse policies that favor industrial food and agriculture systems that destroy our ecosystems, our biodiversity and drive malnutrition that leaves 1 billion hungry and 1 billion obese and suffering from life threatening diet related disease.
Above all it means standing-up for the world’s hungry, the majority of which are smallholder farmers and pastoralists who have been locked out of development. It means pushing for agriculture policies based on realizing the Right to Food and Food Sovereignty rather than on the trade requirements of a handful of powerful developed nations and corporations. It means finding innovative ways to reach and support the most vulnerable with appropriate production and marketing systems that help them to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty and which build their resilience to climate change
IFOAM reaches out to governments, to farmer organizations, to social movements, humanitarian agencies and to development NGOs the world over by engaging them at the advocacy level and increasingly at the implementation level. IFOAM has brought together influential stakeholders such as the World Food Programme, the Red Cross as well as governments including; Malawi, Bhutan, Bolivia the African and European Union Commissions at major UN negotiations to highlight the needs of the hungry and present the organic alternative.