“Almost one in seven people worldwide is chronically undernourished,” states Oxfam’s latest report, Growing a Better Future. It is sad that in a world where at the push of a button, or keyboard stroke, we can be connected to the other side of the world; there are still people who don’t have enough to eat. As Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Oxfam Global Ambassador, put it in an op-ed piece for Oxfam:
“Even today, in a world where it is possible to communicate across thousands of miles at a touch of a button, eight million people face chronic food shortages in East Africa. Around the world close to 1 billion men, women and children will go to bed hungry tonight.”
Desmond Tutu points out that hunger does not occur because there is not enough food to feed the world’s population. It occurs because the food system is “broken.” He touts Oxfam’s GROW campaign, calling it a “very real plan based on the real achievements of forward thinking governments, companies and communities.” He does caution that fixing our broken food system will “require a totally different approach to the way we produce and share food.”
Oxfam describes the GROW campaign as “about working together, sharing solutions and involving millions of people in a global conversation about food, life and the future of our planet –discussing ideas and then putting them into action.” It’s also described as “about coming together to press governments for urgent action to reform bad policies, to preserve scarce resources and share them fairly, to ensure that everyone has a voice in the system and to support the billion-plus small-scale food producers to grow more and grow better.”
Oxfam’s report calls for three big shifts in the global food system:
- Growing better by investing in a new future for agriculture.
- Sharing better by transforming how the food chain is managed between growers and consumers by ensuring that people are not exploited, that everyone has enough to eat and that benefits are fairly distributed and risks managed.
- Living better by rethinking our ideas of prosperity and developing better ways to do business, run our economies and live our lives.
The GROW campaign cannot be successful without consistent and persistent pressure from “you and me – to persuade them – by choosing food that’s produced fairly and sustainably, by cutting our carbon footprints and by joining with Oxfam and others to demand change,” as Desmond Tutu so succinctly tells us.
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