Fix the Global Food System

Safia

Safia cooks rice and potatoes for four people in Badana, Kenya. 

The global food system is broken. 

It is unsustainable for people and the planet. The combination of extreme inequality and poverty, human rights violations, conflict and the climate crisis has left hundreds of millions of people struggling to find their next meal. More recently, the sharp food price inflation accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have added fuel to the fire. Yet, this is not a new global food crisis, but rather another shock to the protracted food crisis, which is caused by long-standing failures in the global food system. People are not going hungry because of a global shortage of food but because they cannot afford it or they simply cannot access it. Farmers already produce more than is needed for everyone, but there is a problem with the way the food is distributed globally. 

It is intolerable that, in our world of plenty, almost a tenth of the global population still endures hunger. It is equally unacceptable that major food traders and companies have rake in record profits while an ever-growing number of people, even in wealthy countries, struggle to put food on the table. We need to revamp our food system to make it local, fair, and sustainable. Rather than ramping up food production in Europe, the EU must support fairer and more sustainable food systems in poorer countries. This starts with supporting small-scale food producers, and promoting especially the rights of women farmers, who are key in the fight against hunger and poverty.