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Giving Compass' Take:
• Sarah Wild talks with experts about revising the global food system as we rebuild from COVID-19 in order to improve everyone's access to quality food.
• How does the global food system mistreat agricultural workers? What can we do to learn from the pandemic and research effective measures to reform food systems?
• Read about three strategies for rethinking the global food system during coronavirus.
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the global food system and emphasised its structural inequity – from unequal food distribution to workers in the system going hungry. Experts are calling for a reimagining of the way we produce and distribute food so that everyone can access quality food. Despite producing more food by volume than humanity has to date, millions of people remain food insecure. Agriculture is also a major contributor to environmental degradation and climate change.
The big question right now is how to make the food system more resilient. Covid-19 is a good illustration of why we need it. The predictions in March and April showed that there were enough basic foods in the world. There were high stocks of rice and grains, and good harvests were predicted for 2020. There was no reason to be afraid of food shortages at a global level. But Covid-19 affected the link between consumers and producers – markets had to close down because of the direct effect of the disease or lockdowns imposed by governments.
The Covid-19 crisis laid bare the fragilities of the system we inherited — in particular, our growing dependence on global supply chains that may be disrupted, and our dependence on migrant seasonal workers that may face sudden restrictions to their mobility. And many voices now are calling for a rethink, so that we treat food, like medicine and healthcare material, as a strategic good.
Starting with harvesters and farmers, there has to be a decent wage and this will be reflected in the products. In the food system, there are so many badly paid jobs. People have now said that these are critical, system-relevant jobs and we need to pay these people more.
Read the full article about reforming the global food system by Sarah Wild at The Naked Scientist.