In reaction to the United Nations Food Systems Summit which was held over the past two days, Thierry Kesteloot, Oxfam’s food policy advisor said:
“The Food Systems Summit has failed hundreds of millions who are going hungry every day, by offering elitist and mere band-aid solutions rather than tackling the root causes of our broken global food system.
“We cannot end the hunger pandemic without addressing the climate crisis, the erosion of agricultural biodiversity, or the deep inequalities and human rights violations that perpetuate poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
“The Summit ambitions fell short in realising the right to adequate food for all and paled next to a catastrophic hunger crisis that is being made worse by the economic fallout of the coronavirus. 11 people are likely dying every minute from hunger, and three billion people, many of whom are women, cannot afford even the most basic healthy diet.
“Oxfam’s report “Ripe for Change” shows that big supermarkets and other corporate food giants dominate global food markets, allowing them to squeeze value from vast supply chains that span the globe, while the bargaining power of small-scale farmers and women workers who make the food we eat, has steadily eroded.
Yet, the Summit ignored proven solutions and failed to address needed policy actions to radically transform food systems. Instead, it has catered to the interests of a handful of food and agribusiness giants, while side-lining most food and smallholder farmers organisations at the forefront of food production.
“To fix our broken food system, governments must first guarantee the rights of food workers, smallholder farmers and marginalised people, by putting a fair, gender-just, resilient and sustainable global food system at the heart of the post-pandemic recovery. Governments must also support a global social protection scheme to help people overcome poverty and hunger.
“Without putting the rights and needs of small-scale farmers and food workers at the heart of transforming our global food systems, any solutions will only fuel further inequality and hunger.”