Some one billion people belong to cooperatives in nearly 100 countries worldwide guarding consumers, producers, and workers against hunger, bankruptcy, and rights abuses. How does belonging to a cooperative fight against these things? Agricultural cooperatives help farmers get fair prices for their goods, and participate in local decision making. Today is World Food Day. If you buy from Nature’s Garden Express, you already support local businesses, farmers and the environment. Read on to find out how you can participate in ending hunger.
Agricultural cooperatives are part of a larger movement to make food more environmentally and socially just and sustainable. Agroecological practices enrich soils, improve yields, increase incomes, and support the people, animals, plants, and entire ecosystems affected by agriculture.
An infographic released recently by the Christensen Fund highlights how industrial agricultural practices like meat from factory farms, the addition of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to fields, and shipping food to markets across the globe—-contributes to increased incidences of diseases and severe air and water pollution.
In contrast, the practice of buying local, preserving wildlife habitats and composting can build resilience to climate change, increase nutritional and biological diversity, and increase agricultural yields over the long term.
“Agricultural cooperatives and agroecological practices go hand-in-hand to support a more sustainable food system,” said Danielle Nierenberg, Director of the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project. “By encouraging worker empowerment, farmer training, and consumer awareness, this year’s World Food Day theme is showcasing one of the most promising elements of a more sustainable food system.”
World Food Day is a global day of action against hunger. FAO suggests a variety of ways you can become involved. Here are some things you can do any day of the year to help end hunger.
- Host a World Food Day meal: As part of its GROW Method, OxfamAmerica promotes 5 very simple actions to help create a better food system: save food, eat seasonally and locally, eat less meat and dairy, support small farmers, and cook smart (if you buy from us you already do most of these).
- Join your local hunger coalition: The Alliance to End Hunger has created the Hunger Free Communities Network, an online platform for coalitions, campaigns, and individuals committed to ending hunger in their local communities.
- Activate a school campus: Why Care? is a student-led campaign of Universities Fighting World Hunger to spark a global conversation about hunger and to build momentum to World Food Day campus events. The campaign offers several simple suggestions on how to spread the word about world hunger on a campus.
- Arrange a food and fund drive: the World Food Day website can help you find your nearby food bank or pantry, and gives tips on donating food or funds to maximize your positive impact.