The problem of hunger is rife across the globe, and is closely connected with poverty. On October 16, World Food Day aims to bring this issue to light with a focus this year on family farming – “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.
Ensuring food security and sovereignty are important issues for many Fairtrade farmers. If small holder farmers are to run effective businesses, they must be able to support themselves and their families. Around three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Fairtrade is helping small producer organizations to strengthen their position, take more control over the value chain and become viable businesses. Of our 1,139 producer organizations worldwide, over 86% are small producer organizations.
A study undertaken in Colombia with banana farmers on Fairtrade certified small producer organizations found that 23 percent of farmers had food security constraints. The Fairtrade Premium was essential for improvements in a number of areas including overall income, income stability, and cash flow, all of which contribute to increasing food security.
"As well as cocoa and coffee we also grow maize, beans, cassava, yams and rice, in order to feed the family. We keep chickens and my husband has sheep. We produce a bit of palm oil and attieke [a cassava based dish] that we sell at the market."
Traore Mariam, pictured top right, is 25 years old and has four children. Her husband is a cocoa farmer of the ECOJOD cooperative in Dalao, Côte d’Ivoire. Traore is typical of many Fairtrade farmers who not only grow crops for cash, but much of their food as well.
Today is World Food Day and we want to bring the issue of food security to light with a focus on family farming – “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.
Today is World Food Day. It’s incredible to think that around 80% of the world’s hungry people are directly involved in food production. But what this also means is that if we invest in these small-scale farmers — like some of the people pictured here — and make sure they’re treated fairly, we can help build a fairer future.