More than 50 people representing 30+ sustainable agriculture, food security, food sovereignty and emergency food relief organizations gathered together in Washington, DC last week. They discussed recent hikes in food prices and what they mean to eaters and farmers alike, both abroad and at home in the United States. Ted and I represented Farm Aid at the table, as the larger group mapped existing efforts to address the core vulnerabilities in our food system to economic and environmental shock, and identified opportunities for raising awareness and generating positive change.
Seeing as how our modern day food system spans the globe (and the many mouths, livelihoods, landscapes, climates, cultures, governments, policies and special interests included therein), it felt like dumping out the pieces of a thousand-piece puzzle. Overwhelming, right?! But, bit-by-bit, we assembled patches of common ground and established a border of sorts in which to continue to organize a collective response. With an election just around the corner, and agri-business giants pushing an industrial agenda to “solve” the crisis using more of the same strategies that contributed to our fragile system in the first place, this conversation is more important than ever.
We’ll keep you posted as we continue to wrestle with the best prescription for a more stable and affordable food system. But we can tell you one thing for sure, and that’s that supporting family farmers and growing the Good Food Movement is at the very heart of the solution.