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Food, trade and hunger

Do you eat every day?
Is the food you eat sufficient?
Is it healthy?

If you say yes to all three of these questions, you’re one of the lucky ones. If your answer to any of them is no, then you’re one of more than 862 million people in the world today who are living with constant hunger. This situation is getting worse, not better.

Yet there is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone. One in seven of us are hungry not because the planet cannot sustain us all, but because of the systems and structures we have created around the way we produce, sell, buy and share food. The good news is that these are things we can change.

Trade is one of the key elements in the complex web of structures that determine whether or not a person has enough to eat. All people have an internationally accepted Right to Food, a right that is being violated for millions of people. This is an outrageous reality of our time, but if we act together we can transform our world.

As Christians we are compelled to action by both the Old and New Testament understanding of justice as taking the side of the poor and oppressed. We are inspired to strive for justice, each in our own place and according to our separate gifts. We are called to the struggle to make trade a means to share the bounty of the earth and the fruits of human labor, and to ensure that people’s right to food is fully respected.

Confronting the Global Food Challenge
24-26 November 2008, Geneva

This conference discussed the impact of trade and investment liberalization on the right to food. It was initiated by the EAA, IATP and Fian.

Trade policies and hunger

Access to food is a fundamental human right. Yet research by the EAA found that current approaches to trade prescribed by international organizations have caused violations of the Right to Food.

The study assessed the food security of rice farming communities in Ghana, Indonesia and Honduras. Unique among research on trade policy, this study sets macroeconomic analysis side by side with human rights case studies of the reality at community level.

More on the research

Learn more about trade and food

Highlighted resources on trade, agriculture and food.

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What is the Right to Food?