Consumers have a huge role to play in transforming the food system from farm to fork. They can exert tremendous influence on the market by demanding products that are healthy for the people and the environment. They can also use their collective voice to guide public policy.
Long-term food security and public health (to name but a few issues at stake) require a total overhaul of the food system along the lines of the IAASTD Report “Agriculture at a Crossroads”. Such a transformation cannot occur, however, without the support of governments.
This is where the nourish9billion.org campaign comes in. It was created to support the efforts, at the national or regional level, of the global initiative IAASTD Rio+20.
nourish9billion.org aims to foster a civic movement through informing, educating and supporting the participation of citizens-consumers to an action network where the voice of every individual, every school, every parish, every organization makes a difference. The objective of such a movement is to become powerful enough to enroll elected officials and policy makers into committing to sustainable agriculture and all that it entails, including shifting regulation in order to support small family farms and local foodsheds.
Rio+20 Outcome Document, “The Future We Want”, hasn’t brought us any closer to any implementation of public policies to actively promote and support sustainable agriculture. Its chapter on “Food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture” lists what needs to happen but fails to define “sustainable agriculture”, and doesn’t include any sort of commitment with regard to agricultural policies.
If effective in America, nourish9billion.org will contribute to the United States’ embarking on a new path toward farming and food sustainability at home. In the process, this powerful nation will also emerge as the vital change agent in the precarious global food system that we all depend on.
A successful European campaign will bring us all that much closer to the CAP reform that many youth organizations have been calling for.
We rely on you to help us keep this campaign alive, and to grow the movement. As Rio+20 has demonstrated, fertile ground for change is to be found in the energy and resources of civil society.