Fix the Food System

With East Africa facing its worst drought in over 40 years, the decades of inadequate action to address the climate crisis can no longer be ignored.

We are urging the UK government to keep the promises it made at the COP26 climate talks last year and support agricultural systems that tackle the climate crisis as well as putting local communities first.

See how CAFOD supporters delivered campaign messages to the Foreign Office

Fix the food system

Our global food system is broken

Climate change, the pandemic and the rising prices of food and agricultural products as a result of the Ukraine crisis, have together revealed the fragility of our current global food system.

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At a time of crisis these impacts are mostly felt in low-income countries, but they also have serious repercussions at home, where earlier this year 9% of the UK population were experiencing food insecurity despite living in the fifth-largest economy in the world.

Clearly, our current global food system is not working for both people and planet. But together we can play our part in re-thinking it, and challenging the imbalance of power so that it works for everyone.

Discover 8 things you didn’t know about our food system

Is there any good news?

Yes - alternatives to the current food system already exist. Small farmers like Suchitra in Bangladesh are growing food in ways that provide a decent income for their families, help local economies and are good for the climate.

Our food system can be transformed if more small farmers are better supported. But the UK government gives the majority of its support to big businesses.

The UK government must implement its COP26 commitments and support agricultural systems that put local communities first and protect the planet.  

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Food system success stories

Farmers working together in Brazil

A farmer selling organic produce at a market stall

Paraíba in Brazil has become known as a leading example of economically viable, environmentally friendly farming.

When coronavirus arrived in Paraíba, north-east Brazil, customers stayed away from markets and tonnes of food was in danger of rotting in the fields. But rather than see their produce go to waste, farmers joined with local Church groups, unions and social movements to organise the donation and distribution of fresh healthy produce for vulnerable families.

As a result, farmers who might have gone under have been able to find a market for their produce, and their organisations and communities have emerged with greater resilience.

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Organic farming in Bangladesh

A woman kneeling down behind some crops

Suchitra, a farmer from Bangladesh

“Before I had training in organic farming we planted crops here, but we didn’t get anything good, and every time a climate event happened we would lose it all. We could only eat vegetables we grew in three months of the year. Now, we eat them all year round. We don’t buy anything from the bazaar anymore. We’re eating ridge gourd, plantain, spinach - and all from our own plants and fields.

"All the other stuff we need is homemade now too, like worm compost. We don’t use chemicals to kill insects on our plants anymore. When I take my stuff to the bazaar, even if I charge a bit more, people buy my goods first, because they know it is good and I use organic fertiliser.”

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7 stations activity

Order resources to help you run our seven stations activity in your parish and share why we need to fix the food system with your community.

Take action to fix the broken food system

Children and young people

Step up to the plate in school this term by telling the government to keep the promises they made at COP26.

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