As Fairtrade Fortnight enters its second week, the Food Ethics Council calls for a root and branch shake up of the finance systems that fund agriculture.
Food and finance have been linked for thousands of years, with the world’s oldest bank set up to insure shepherds and their flocks. But the relationship isn’t always mutually supportive. Financial practices such as commodity market speculation have made food prices more volatile.
The spring edition of Food Ethics magazine, ‘Food and finance: trading security’, examines how finance can harm future food security, and what a fair finance system might look like.
Contributors reveal that:
Tom MacMillan, Food Ethics Council executive director said:
“Governments need to recognise that food security depends on financial regulation. Finance must slow down if it’s to support secure and sustainable food systems. That means controls on commodity trading and promoting slow-burn investments promising long-term rewards.
“Fairtrade makes a difference to millions of farmers and their dependants in the global south. But to make an even bigger difference fair finance, from commodity investment to micro-credit, must become the norm.”
‘Food and finance: trading security’ is out on Monday 1st March. Contributors include Guy Watson from Riverford Organic Vegetables, Harriet Lamb of the Fairtrade Foundation, Ian Price from Triodos Bank, Oliver Greenfield from WWF-UK, David McNair from Christian Aid, and many more experts in food and farming from commodity traders to farmers, and CSR specialists to Fairtrade companies.
Notes to editors
1 The Food Ethics Council works towards a food system that is fair and healthy for people and the environment.
2 Food Ethics magazine is published quarterly, delivering up-to-date analysis on topical subjects relevant to food and farming. Attracting top quality contributors, it is essential reading for everyone involved in food businesses, government policy or campaigning organisations, journalists and anybody interested in the food system.
3 Previous magazines have highlighted issues surrounding food and climate change, waste, GM food, meat and livestock, workers’ rights, the catering and food retail industries, and the food crisis.