Small Farmers Big Change – a campaign of Equal Exchange

a green and more just food system starts with small farmers – Linked with Equal Exchange and its links.

… Our new campaign, “Small Farmers. Big Change: Creating a Green and More Just Food System,” represents a path to bringing justice to the food system and health to the planet. Through our actions, we can take steps to reduce our environmental footprint, help farmers save their local ecosystems, and advocate for agriculture and trade policies that actually benefit small-scale producers and workers instead of corporations. The positive impact of these actions would indeed represent a powerful change … (about our campaign 1/2).

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For the rest (Contact, Addresses, etc.), please refer to Equal Exchange.

About our campaign 2/2: … Why are small farmers and their organizations so important? Quite simply, they provide us with really great, high quality, healthy food.  

They also take care of the land. Sustainable farming protects the forests, soil and watersheds, and helps cool the planet. Small farmer co-operatives encourage democratic decision-making, provide dignified livelihoods for their members, and give opportunities for producers to feel pride in their accomplishments and hope for the future. These organizations help keep communities healthy and strong, and keep local cultures vibrant. They provide real alternatives to migration, gangs, and the cultivation of coca and other illegal crops.

Today, however, small-scale farmers face tremendous challenges. Many of our agriculture and trade policies are designed to favor large, agricultural corporations. The subsidies, credits, and tax incentives the government awards to agribusiness dramatically undermine the ability of small farmers to compete in the marketplace. Even our energy policies and consumption patterns, which contribute to global warming, affect small farmers disproportionately. Although they farm in ways that steward the land and keep the planet cool, global warming causes changes in weather patterns which affect crops and crop cycles. Unusual storms have become more frequent and severe, causing a loss of lives, homes, crops and livelihoods.

But we can reverse this environmental degradation and take steps to ensure that we leave a greener planet for our children. We can take back the food system to maintain our connection to the land, the food we eat, and the farmers who grow it. We can demand the right to know what’s in our food, and to have real choices over what we eat and from whom we buy. We can continue to support small farmers by purchasing Fair Trade products, buying from co-operatives, and supporting local farmers in our own communities. It’s important to continue to exercise consumer power through our purchases and reduce our environmental footprints through changes in behavior. Today, we would also like to invite you to join with us to take further steps to affect change.

This blog is dedicated to small farmers and consumers, the food system we are part of and building, and the planet we share. We offer these pages as a space to launch our campaign and invite all of you to participate in its development. We welcome your thoughts and ideas on this blog and believe that your input, creativity and actions are necessary to take back our food system and care for our planet.

Our campaign has three components which we’ll write about in this blog: … (full text).

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