Rethinking Food Policy

A new report argues that U.S. and European Union polices which have been pushed through global institutions over the last several decades have paved the way for the ongoing world food crisis.

The report, by CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development agencies, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), identifies that the convergence of the current food, economic and climate crises mean we must review the viability of existing models of food production and consumption.

The report suggests that neglected agriculture programs, ill-advised economic adjustment policies, commodity speculation and unjust trade rules have caused the global food system to become vulnerable. Proposed changes to policy include measures to empower small-scale farmers and to generate more sustainable food production.

‘A new generation of sustainable agriculture policies is needed to provide for an urgently needed balance between economic profitability and socio-ecological justice, preventing a scramble for natural resources’, said Bernd Nilles CIDSE Secretary-General. ‘This is vital to ensure female and male small scale producers, women-led households and landless workers can attain a decent livelihood.’

The EU announced last week that they would increase their support for FAO’s work into ensuring global food security, with a historic €106 million (A$189 million) donation in support of farmers hardest hit by the global food crisis.

Assistance packages will be provided to ten countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean who suffered most from the 2007-2008 food price crisis in an effort to stop further worsening of food security, expected to deteriorate even further this year as the financial and economic crisis deepens in developing countries.

Australian Food News

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