Letter from Fair World Project Executive Director Dana Geffner
Writing this 2021 annual report has forced me to reflect on the many challenges that collectively we’ve endured and the ability for us to move forward regardless. There was some hope at the start of 2021 with the roll out of COVID vaccines, we imagined in the not such distance future to be able to see each other beyond a zoom square, to attend conferences, and to travel so we could connect and be inspired by what others were doing to create a more just food system. It soon became clear that majority countries would not receive enough vaccines, and anti-vaccine advocates refused to be vaccinated thus new variants such as the Delta variant and then later the Omicron variant spread and another wave of closures, mask mandates and the rise of illnesses became the normal once again. As governments, scientists and companies raced to make enough testing kits we all went back into the unknown, testing our mental health and pushing so many to their limits. This historic time has presented us with opportunities to be more vulnerable with each other and while self-care and compassion is the most important for each of us, I have been continually impressed by the extraordinary ability of our small but mighty team to push forward in our continuation to advocate for a better world. We are seeing an immense shift of consciousness blanket the globe: workers’ organizing at Amazon warehouses and Starbucks, Indian farmers’ months-long protests of unjust trading policies, and thousands speaking out against COP26 in solidarity with frontline workers and in support of small-scale regenerative organic farming. This new shift is giving us the lifeline we need to continue to advocate for a more equitable global economic system.
In 2021, the For A Better World magazine transitioned to the For A Better World podcast and was widely received with critical acclaim. The podcast continues to have the same focus by building powerful and effective coalitions where we were able to best use our strengths and networks to complement our vision for a just economy and global trade, food, and farming systems which nourish people and don’t exploit them or the planet. We recognize that the world that we want represents transformative change. To get there, it’s going to take campaign wins that are bigger than us, and it’s also going to require that we change the narrative about what is possible. That perspective shapes the strategies we have chosen to prioritize across our work this year. These pages will highlight our continued work watch-dogging ethical labels, pushing for fair procurement and advancing a fair global food system through farmer and worker organizing.