October 18, 2011

War on Want slams UK government’s food policy

by Jan Harris

In a new report, War on Want criticises governments in the developed world for food policies which destroy the livelihoods of small farmers and contribute to world hunger.

2009 was the first year in which over a billion people were officially
classified as living in hunger and this wasn’t caused by natural disasters but by a food system which is under the control of multinational companies.

The report, ‘Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming the Food System’, focuses in on the UK’s food policy which prioritises food security through free markets and aid, and compares it with the concept of food sovereignty, which gives farmers control of the food system.

War on Want claims that new technologies, developed with the help of funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), have increased reliance on highly priced seeds and agrochemicals, leading to an unprecedented level of hunger.

The charity is calling for a new food system which puts small producers back in control of production and which encourages local communities to develop their own seed banks, reducing reliance on seeds developed by big business.

In the report, John Hilary, Executive Director of War on Want, says: “The scandal of global hunger is testament to the failure of the capitalist food system.

“The time for food sovereignty has come.”

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