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Just and Sustainable Food Production

For the whole of humanity, access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food has always formed one of the foundations of a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Hunger is not caused by insufficient food in the world but is the result of unfair trade, production and distribution systems. There is currently enough food produced to feed everyone, but more than a billion people don’t have enough to eat, and climate change will likely make this worse. We believe the underlying problem is that food is produced within structures which are unjust to small scale producers.

 
According to the Hesperian Community Guide to Environmental Health, “Sustainable farming means farming for the long-term health of people and the land.” Sustainable farming methods do not only provide food but they also build fertile soils, protect water, preserve valuable seeds, conserve biodiversity and ensure conservation for the benefit of present and future generations. This method of farming allows farmers to grow more food in less space using less chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides. The 2008 report of the IAASTD  (Independent Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development), noted that, there is urgent need to move away from destructive and chemical-dependent industrial agriculture and to adopt environmental modern farming methods that champion biodiversity and benefit local communities. More and better food can be produced without destroying rural livelihoods or natural resources. Local, socially and environmentally responsible methods are the solution. 
 
In Agenda 21, the main objective of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) is "to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security."  In 1997, the UN General Assembly announced that "the greatest challenge for humanity is to protect and sustainably manage the natural resource base on which food and fibre production depend, while feeding and housing a population that is still growing" (United Nations, Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, June 1997, para 62).  

This calls us to work together to expose and eradicate the causes of hunger by highlighting both good and bad practices, in large- and small-scale food production. 

EAA PERSPECTIVES

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) recognizes that hunger is a matter of injustice. There is also awareness that access to food cannot be guaranteed simply through technical approaches to increasing global production. With a large percentage of the poor making their livelihood from food production, it is imperative that in meeting these production needs we look at food not only as something to be eaten, but also something which gives sustenance (physical, economic and cultural) for those who produce it. 

The EAA is inviting you to submit your stories/case studies on food production, trade and distribution

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Despite the goodness and bounty of God’s gifts to us in creation, so many people experience scarcity: famine, hunger, deprivation and want. Our systems for producing, buying, selling and sharing food are profoundly broken and this has increased the divide between the haves and the have nots. This is a crucial moment for Churches to engage in a campaign advocating for those suffering from hunger by bringing their interests on the table through: 

Sharing stories/case studies you know by using the EAA template (to provide a brief description of cases or stories illustrating both positive and negative examples of just food production, trade and distribution

Using EAA Fact sheet on key findings of the IAASTD (Independent Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development) to raise awareness on agro-ecological approaches to agriculture and call on governments to adopt the findings

Generating awareness and debate the ethical and environmental implications of current agricultural practices which are unsustainable (e.g. soil degradation, overuse of chemical inputs, land expropriation, water pollution) 
Supporting
women producers’ groups at all levels and to facilitate their engagement with decision makers, including on land rights issues 
Promoting
dialogue with agri-business on agro-ecological approaches to agriculture

Standing Up for the protection and respect of the right to food in all trade agreements