Teikei: putting the farmers’ face on food

Campaigning for change article written on the 08 May 2013

We are moving on to our second challenge in the six months of GROW Challenges: to support small-scale farmers when we purchase food.

A report released last week by the Hunger Alliance, a group of nine leading international development NGOs including Oxfam, showed that “the single most important thing governments can do to end global hunger is to support the millions of poor women farming tiny plots of land in developing countries”. The single most important thing!!! The report is based on decades of findings from programs designed to combat food and nutrition insecurity across the world. It calls for everyone to support women to grow more food in their backyards for themselves and their families. If we did this, between 100 to 150 million, yes million people would no longer be hungry. The number of children dying of malnutrition would also dramatically drop. This beautiful little 30 second film tells a similar story from Indonesia.

It’s hard to believe that 80% of the world’s hungry are involved in producing food. Most are women small-scale farmers and labourers, and that’s why Oxfam Australia has been calling for greater support of small-scale farmers for some time. This is where the GROW Challenges now turns its focus (you can sign up to the GROW Challenges here).

Your challenge this month is……….

To take a photo of yourself/your friends at a farmers market or community market and instragram it, tweet it or pop it up on OxfamAustralia’s Facebook page. Be sure to use the hashtag #GROWChallenges

You could win an amazing Fair Trade Curry hamper.

So get snapping and supporting small-scale farmers locally and globally – and don’t forget to tell us about it!

How else can we support these food producers? By buying Fair Trade and by calling on governments and companies to do the right thing by these farmers. Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign is a great way to add your voice to the growing number of people who are asking “Who makes my food? What are their lives like? Are they and their families hungry?”

What about small-scale farmers in Australia? These people are often bringing us seasonal and organic produce of the highest quality with the least environmental impact. Going to accredited farmers markets and/or getting an organic seasonal veggie box is a great way to support your local farmers.

Community-Supported Agriculture, or known as “Teikei” in Japan (which literally means ‘putting the farmers’ face on food’) is happening all around us here in Australia! Tori’s article about her recent ‘heavenly’ visit to Common2Us might make you want to leave the city!

Fair Trade Fortnight (7-22 May) is now on and is Australia’s biggest annual celebration of all things fair trade, recognising the life-changing difference fair trade makes to the lives of more than six million farmers, workers, artisans, their families and communities in 58 developing countries. It is the perfect time to support Fair Trade produce, and Tara has created her top five Fair Trade gifts for Mothers day  list for you to use to spoil your mum this weekend.

This month we have a plethora of blogs for you to chomp on. Tara’s review of the powerful film, The End of Poverty? Will get your thinkie thing going. Also, if you’re wondering how apps might help you navigate your way through supporting small-scale farmers, then Margaret’s blog will steer you in the right direction!

Julie talks to champions of small scale farming at CERES in Melbourne, and Steph has trawled through YouTube to bring you a finely tuned selection of videos which tell the story of the importance of small-scale farmers in feeding the world.

So let’s find out where our food came from, and see the faces of the farmers that grew it.

Tell the world of Twitter you are taking the #GROWChallenges!

By Melita Grant

Oxfam Australia’s GROW Team and fair foodie


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