Take Action for Climate Justice!
(September 17th 2015)
|Call to Action: Campaign for Climate, Food & Farm Justice|
| World Food Day, first held on October 16th, 1981, marks the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Every year, millions of people worldwide celebrate World Food Day to renew the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This World Food Day 2015, we face the accelerating threat of climate change.|
Climate change is the greatest challenge of our generation. When we think of climate change and global warming, visions of coal-fired power plants and solar panels come to mind. Policy discussions and personal action usually revolve around hybrid cars, energy-efficient homes and debates about the latest technological solutions. However, the global agriculture system is at the heart of both the problem and the solution.
The coming months, including the December Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to influence public policy, market actions, and media messaging. World Food Day 2015 is our moment to firmly place the agroecological small farmer solution at the forefront and grow a movement together.
Please take action today by helping build the momentum for the Day of Action! Visit www.october16.org to endorse the call to action and check the “get involved” tab information and opportunities to get involved.
|Take Action: Nano in Agriculture is Unregulated, Unhealthy, and Ineffective |
|Nano materials are manufactured particles so small they are measured at the nano-scale and they behave differently than their conventionally sized counterparts, for example lodging into lungs of people who breath them or passing membrane barriers to cause cell damage or effect brain. In agriculture, they are particularly dangerous to farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities, not only because of their escalated health risk, but because they are lighter than other materials and drift further from their intended source, making their way to unprotected people, water systems, and the food system.Despite the risks and the fact that they are largely unregulated, these materials are being introduced into agricultural products already, making them far more toxic but no more effective. And rather than alerting farmers to the elevated risk to health and environment, many of them are being advertised as natural products intended to help small-scale farmers thrive. One example is a product called NanoRevolution 2.0, which contains highly toxic nano carbontubes (damaging to factory workers who produce them as well as the farmers and farmworkers who apply them in fields) has been shown to be ineffective. This advertising not only covers up the risk of the product, it takes advantage of the demand for more “natural” and sustainable agriculture to do so.|
Read more on our blog…
|Recent Investigation Reminds Us Tea Workers Need More Than Certification |
|A joint investigation between Radio 4’s File and BBC News recently uncovered inhumane conditions on tea plantations in Assam, India. Crumbling housing and unhygienic conditions, child working in the fields, workers spraying pesticides without any protective equipment, and children unable to break cycles of disease and malnutrition were some of the concerns raised in the investigation. To make matters worse, all of the estates visited as part of the investigation had received the Rainforest Alliance seal of approval.|
This is not the first time certified tea plantations in India have been called out. It was just about a year ago that fair trade pioneer Equal Exchange called upon Twinings and other major tea brands to stop marketing any tea from plantations in India fair trade due to the prevalence of the very conditions described in the more recent investigation.
|Fall Edition of For a Better World Available |
| Our free semi-annual publication For a Better World is now available in your local fair trade store or natural grocer or co-op. In each edition we tackle issues and challenges of creating a more just economy. The Fall 2015 publication focuses on the worker issues like raising the minimum wage and how fair trade should address hired labor on large-scale plantations. We also hear the inspirational story of the creation of first farmer-owned organic sugar mill in Paraguay and Executive Director Dana Geffner talks about her own roots in fair trade and why fair trade crafts are so important in engaging in global political struggles.|
The publication is also available online and we will post individual stories on both Facebook and Twitter.