Oxfam calls for global reform of the food system

Global reform of the food system is needed in order to help people buy adequate food, Oxfam warns.

Rising food prices are tightening the squeeze, even on those who can currently afford food, the NGO says.

In an acceleration of a trend which has seen food prices double in the last 20 years, the charity is forecasting food prices will increase by 120-180 per cent in the next 20 years unless there is reform.

“The food system must be overhauled if we are to overcome the increasingly pressing challenges of climate change, spiralling food prices and the scarcity of land, water and energy,” said Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive.

The report, Growing a Better Future, acknowledges that climate change will cause half of that increase. But the poverty and justice agency calls on world leaders to increase transparency in commodities markets, regulate futures markets, increase food reserves, end promotion of biofuels and invest in small farming, particularly helping women farmers.

Among the many factors continuing to drive rising food prices in the coming decades, Oxfam predicts that climate change will have the most serious impact.

And it calls on the international community to launch a global climate fund “so that people can protect themselves from the impact of climate change and are better equipped to grow the food they need.”

The report says a “broken” food system causes “hunger, along with obesity, obscene waste, and appalling environmental degradation”, and  “power above all determines who eats and who does not”, and says the present system was “constructed by and on behalf of a tiny minority – its primary purpose to deliver profit for them”.

“We are sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis,” said Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s chief executive.

“One in seven people in the planet goes hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone,” she said.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , ,