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Celebrating World Food Day

Today is World Food Day, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as a reminder of the food security and sovereignty issues that we face globally.

Past years’ themes have included the importance of smallholder farmers and cooperatives in addressing hunger and food security worldwide. In fact, smallholder producers are an essential part of supplying food in the developing world [1]. At 1.5 billion people, smallholders, family farmers and indigenous people make up approximately 20 percent of the world’s population [2]. Moreover, as people who have been practicing agriculture for generations, the FAO notes that “small-scale producers have evolved to more resilient and climate-adapted forms of agriculture which are essential [for] biodiversity and natural resources conservation, as well as [for] meeting the poverty and hunger challenge” [3]. In many cases they produce more than half of the food consumed in their regions [4]. In 2012, smallholders and family farms provided approximately 70 percent of the world’s food [5]. As such, it is important that these domestic food markets remain strong as they play an important role in food security and food sovereignty. 

De la Gente recognizes the vital role that smallholder farmers and cooperatives play in the social and economic stability of communities. Through direct trade models, coffee farmers are able to realize increased profits and better support their families and communities.  Learn more about the cooperatives with whom we work and how you can support them. 

1  Isakson, S.R. (2009). No hay ganacia en la milpa: the agrarian question, food sovereignty, and the on-farm conservation of agrobiodiversity in the Guatemalan highlands. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(4), 725-759. doi: 10.1080/03066150903353876
2  Altieri, M.A., & Toledo, V.M. (2011). The agroecological revolution in Latin America: Rescuing nature, ensuring food sovereignty and empowering peasants. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 38(3), 587-612. doi: 10.1080/03066150.2011.582947
3  Maass Wolfenson, K.D., (2013, July). Coping with the food and agriculture challenge: Smallholders’ agenda. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/nr/sustainability_pathways/docs/Coping_with_food_and_agriculture_challenge__Smallholder_s_ agenda_Final.pdf
4  Ibid 2
5  La Via Campesina. (2012, October 11). La Via Campesina in the Committee on World Food Secruity: Investments needed for small scale farming, not for agribusiness. Retrieved from http://viacampesina.org/en/index.php/main-issues-mainmenu-27/food-sovereignty-and- trade-mainmenu-38/1310-la-via-campesina-in-the-committee-on-world-foodsecurity-in vestments-needed-for-small-scale-farming-not-foragribusiness