One step forward, two steps back in addressing the food crisis

Press release - 22 April, 2009
Commenting on the declaration published today following the first G8 meeting dedicated to agriculture, Greenpeace said that the G8 Agriculture Ministers appear to be taking one step forward in putting agriculture and food security at the heart of the international agenda, but two steps back because they have failed to present proposals that will effectively tackle the global food crisis.

The recognition of the importance of increasing public and private investment in sustainable agriculture, rural development and environmental protection, as well as the central role of agricultural households and smallholder farms, in sustainable economic growth are all positive steps  towards addressing the food crisis.

These recommendations are in line with the conclusions of the international scientific community summarised in the UN Agriculture Assessment (IAASTD), the most authoritative, detailed and broad assessment of the future of agriculture ever conducted at international level(1).

However, the G8 ministers failed to agree on a clear set of concrete proposals to meet the agreed needs and tackle hunger and poverty at the global level, especially in the context of the emerging climate crisis and the stresses this will place on global food supplies and the most vulnerable communities.

By failing to act on the findings of the international scientific community and refusing to rethink the current unsustainable food system, the G8 ministers' Declaration represents at best a missed opportunity to tackle the fundamental sources of the food crisis," said Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU Agriculture Policy Director. "At worst, ministers are simply chewing the fat while global food security is boiling over."

Other contacts: Marco Contiero – Greenpeace EU Agriculture policy director:

Natalia Truchi – Greenpeace International Communications

Notes: Ecological Farming ensures healthy farming and healthy food for today and tomorrow, by protecting soil, water and climate, promotes biodiversity, and does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs or genetic engineering.