This short presentation will introduce our new campaign – Hungry for change.
Hungry for change is our new campaign that looks at our global food system, and asks: if we are producing enough food for everyone, why do almost a billion people still lack enough to eat? We believe that some of the answers can be found in challenging the power imbalances that exist with the way food is grown, sold and shared around the world.
So what’s the problem? Today, 925 million people live without enough food. That’s equivalent to all the people in the USA, Canada and the EU combined. Access to sufficient, nutritious and affordable food is a basic human right and yet, for the first time in a generation, the number of people living without enough food is on the rise.
When there’s not enough food to go round, how do you decide who will eat and who will go hungry? When drought struck the Kitui region of Kenya, Emily Mbithuka faced a terrible decision: “I managed to feed my family by eating very little,” she says. “We stored some maize to make sure we could feed the small ones, but the older children accepted hunger and skipped lunch. It really disturbed me to see them hungry.” Families across the world face this impossible choice. Emily and her husband grow maize and vegetables to eat and sell. But this isn’t enough to get by. So, they walk miles each day under a baking sun, often with empty stomachs, to find paid manual labour. Most people who go hungry are like Emily, living, day in, day out, unsure where the next meal is coming from. But this silent crisis rarely hits the headlines.
Emily’s frustrated because, despite her hard work, the amount she grows is too small to attract traders. Instead she sells to a shopkeeper, who sells her crop on at triple the price. “This isn’t fair. I feel exploited,” she says. “We don’t have an option of where to take our produce. It’s like we are being cheated.” Low and unpredictable prices make it hard for small-scale farmers like Emily to sell their crops at a fair price. And it’s difficult for some farmers to wait until the price is high because they’ve got nowhere to store their crops. The climate in Kenya is also becoming more unpredictable, with increasingly frequent droughts affecting farmers’ ability to grow food. The vast majority of Africa’s people get the food they need from small-scale farmers like Emily. The potential of these farmers is immense - the tomatoes that Emily grows can feed a hundred families – but they aren’t receiving enough support.
Here’s the paradox. Right now, there is enough food produced in the world to meet everyone’s needs . But one in seven people don’t get enough to eat. So why are the poorest people going hungry? The way food is grown, sold and shared out – whether through local or global food systems – isn’t working for millions of people. The balance of power is tipped towards global companies – rather than families trying to put food on the table.
Small-scale farmers grow 50 per cent of the world’s food. But they face an increasing number of challenges – including lack of access to markets and to resources like land, water and energy. They need support to improve their income, access markets and gain a voice in decisions which affect them. As the International Fund for Agricultural Development says “It is time to look at poor smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs in a completely new way – not as charity cases but as people whose innovation, dynamism and hard work will bring prosperity to their communities and greater food security to the world.”
We work in more than 30 of the world’s poorest countries through local partner organisations – often church groups – supporting each community to meet its own needs. This could be by giving people money instead of food so they can prioritise their own needs and buy from local markets; or by speaking out against land grabs or forest destruction. Or by providing seed banks to help crops last longer, agricultural training to improve yields, or support for co-operatives and women’s groups to increase their bargaining power. The possibilities are endless, but the ultimate goal is the same: people able to feed themselves, today, tomorrow and long into the future.
But we also want to see fundamental changes to the global food system, so that power is justly shared between rich and poor. That’s why we’ve launched our Hungry for change campaign. It’s a big task, so we’re going to take it one bite at a time. From September 2012 to October 2013, we’re calling for two things which seek to put the power back into people’s hands.
Empowering aid for small-scale farmers, especially women, to help them access markets and increase their income, bargaining power and voice in decisions.
And checks on the power of global food companies, requiring them to report on the lobbying they do and their impacts on human rights – and to ensure that workers in global supply chains get a fair deal.
Each person is made in the image of God, therefore each of us has a responsibility to others as well as to ourselves. Sharing is part of our faith. Our hunger for change, in solidarity with our neighbours and through the grace of God, can transform our world.
Order Hungry for change action cards today... This year, the UK hosts the G8 Summit, which is a crucial opportunity to put food high on the global agenda. We will be calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to act for a fairer food system and to put power into the hands of the poorest.
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. First tear out, sign and send the postcard to the Prime Minister, calling on him to take action for a fairer food system. Pop it in the post to us today, and we’ll hand them into No. 10 throughout 2013 at times when they’ll make the most impact. Then write your message, prayer or pledge for a world free from hunger on the fish below to display, as a sign of your commitment. Finally, share the rest of the action with a friend. They can tear out, sign and send the postcard to the Prime Minister, before writing their message, prayer or pledge for a world free from hunger on the loaf of bread.
What else can we do? Learn – about the food system and how it impacts on the world’s poorest people. Download or order our Food for Thought guide to the issues today. Organise – events in schools, parishes & communities. Collect up as many action cards as possible! Share – the action and spread the word! Why not make a display of your loaves and fishes in your church, local community centre or school and send us a picture?
What’s Hungry forchange?A new campaign that looks at the global food system.
Food Fact• 925 million people worldwide do not have enough to eat.• That’s equivalent to all the people in the USA, Canada and the European Union combined.
Emily’s storyEmily in Kenya, has survived hardtimes. “It hurts to see my children ask for food. I store maize to make sure we can feed the small ones. The older ones, my husband and I, skip meals.”Emily struggles to get a marketfor her crops.
Small-scale farmers need support to improve their income, accessmarkets and gain a voice in decisionswhich affect them.
What is CAFOD already doing? • Supporting people to prioritise their own needs and buy from local markets • Speaking out against land grabs or forest destruction • Providing seed banks to help crops last longer • Agricultural training to improve yields • Support for co-operatives and women’s groups to increase their bargaining power and more...
1. Empowering aid for small-scale farmers, especiallywomen, to help them access markets and increase theirincome, bargaining power and voice in decisions.
2. Checks on the power of global food companies, requiring them to report on the lobbying they do and their impacts on human rights – and to ensure that workers in global supply chains get a fair deal.Did you know?A few hundred companies control 70 per cent of the global food market and key resources such as water and land needed to produce food.
Hunger for change, in solidarity with ourneighbours and through the grace of God, can transform our world.
Take the fish… …share the bread and multiply the campaign!“Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish,raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing..They all ate as much as they wanted.” Matthew 14:19-20
What else can we do?DONATE tomorrow!Look out for thechaplaincy team withbuckets aroundschool!Visit the auditoriumtomorrow lunchtime!Donate and receive asimple lunch.
“A future without hunger can become a reality if the only things we are hungry for are sharing, solidarity and justice.” Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga
GOD OUR FATHER,We give you thanks for the abundance of your creation, and the generosity of your gifts.We are sorry that amongst us are so many people who are excluded from the feast, prepared by you for us all.May your spirit inspire us and lead us as we seek change, so that hunger and poverty are no longer a scar and scandal in our world.May your spirit guide us as we seek change, so everyone has enough food for flourish and a place at the table you spread for us all. Amen