Agricultural Solicitors Ipswich – The challenge to end hunger

“The European Commission, backed by the European Parliament and the majority of Member States, has proposed food security as a key policy issue for the post 2013 CAP.

Critics of the current reform proposals argue that has more to do with a continuation of the old style CAP than real concern for food security, because for over 50 years the EU has produced more than sufficient food for its citizens and while the EU continues to protect its own, does it really care about the chronically hungry fellow citizens share this planet?

Luca Chinotti, an Oxfam Advisor, points out that the hungry in 2010/2012 adds up to more than the total populations of the US of Europe and of Canada.

Does the EU really seek solutions to solving some of the world’s greatest crisis, namely that there is enough food so why do millions still starve?

Unless Governments, NGO’s and the industry itself start working together, this global imbalance will continue resulting in thousands prematurely dying from starvation.  About a third of the food in the richer countries ends up as waste and a similar proportion in developing countries rots because of poor storage.  Genetically modified food remains banned by many countries and food crops used for renewables fuels adds to the inability to solve what is a basis human right, namely not to go hungry.

The challenges of food security led the EU to be a prime mover behind G20 initiatives to inspire global action to meet this head on.  The EU estimates that the world population will reach 9 billion by 2050 with the demand for food likely to grow by at least 70%  It has been estimated that we shall need to produce the same amount of food in the next 40 years as in the past 8,000 years.  The challenges are enormous and can only be effectively resolved by a true partnership of countries worldwide of trading groups of NGO’s and of farmers themselves.  A co-ordinated approach for example can lead to Unilever working with Greenpeace to incentivise companies to move to sustainable palm oil to end deforestation.  Governments need to eliminate the use of unsustainable biofuels, for private businesses and governments to ensure increased investment actually improves support for small holder farmers in the developing world, strengthen weak food chains and promotes business ethics, both within the farming community and elsewhere as Bill Gates acknowledged “countries and food agencies and donors aren’t working together in a focused and co-ordinated way to provide the help small farmers needs, when they need it”.

Recently the European Commission sought to limit the use of crop based biofuels and encourage Member States to reach renewable energy targets, by using waste materials rather than food crops.  A small step in the right direction.  Governments, NGO’s and individuals must unite behind focused policies to rid our world of one of its greatest scandals.”

Richard Barker is a consultant at Barker Gotelee, solicitors in Suffolk.

Agricultural Solicitors – click here for more information on our range of services