Biovision on the Fair-Food-Initiative
On 23 September, Switzerland will vote on the Fair-Food-Initiative. Our President, Hans Rudolf Herren, explains why he will vote yes.
What is the Fair-Food-Initiative about?
The initiative aims to promote food from near-natural, environmentally friendly and animal-friendly agriculture with fair working conditions. In concrete terms, this means: diversity instead of uniformity in the farmland and on the dining table, more regional and seasonal food and less waste of food. We called for this in the 2008 World Agriculture Report.*
Why do you and Biovision support this initiative?
A change of direction is urgently needed. Only agriculture that conserves resources and adapts to climate change can ensure the long-term nutrition of the people. Sustainably produced food should no longer be disadvantaged compared to environmentally harmful products and become more attractive for consumers. And farmers must be rewarded for their efforts accordingly with a fair price – completely in the sense of the cost-benefit ratio: services to the environment and society should be compensated. This initiative brings us one step closer to our vision: a world with sufficient and healthy food for all, produced by healthy people in a healthy environment.
What are the advantages for farmers in Africa?
The Fair-Food-Initiative explicitly addresses Switzerland’s cross-border trade relations. Many developing countries are net importers, i.e. they are “flooded” with surplus food from industrialised countries that are produced more cheaply due to product subsidies. The initiative tries to improve these unequal trading conditions: Increased demand for sustainably produced food from developing countries – especially tropical fruits, vegetables, coffee and cocoa – has a positive impact on the living conditions of small farmers. They achieve a higher price for their food and produce under fair working conditions. They also take care of the fragile environment. The initiative is therefore holistic in its approach and, in line with the UN Agenda 2030, combines economic reason, social justice and ecological responsibility.
* Hans Rudolf Herren contributed in his responsible position to the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) [note: Current Concerns]
Further information: www.fair-food.ch
Source: Biovision.ch from 13 August 2018
(Translation Current Concerns)
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