The Green Party of Canada is calling on Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to show real leadership at the upcoming G20 Agriculture Meetings in Paris by supporting efforts to stabilize the price of food. “There are a staggering number of malnourished people globally. The world’s richest countries have a moral duty to do all we can to rectify this situation,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that almost a billion people are going hungry, 13.6% of the world’s population, due to neglect of agriculture, the economic crisis, and the increase in food prices, exacerbated by climate change.
“The G20 Agriculture Minister’ meeting is an excellent chance to coordinate regulatory changes so that we can get a grip on food price volatility,” said May. “We must improve our systems of producing food, including moving toward small scale farming that takes into account soil health and water protection. Climate change must be front and centre, as we will only see further negative impacts on food production due to the climate crisis.
The Greens are supporting Oxfam’s efforts convincing Canada to get behind proposed measures to stabilize food prices including:
- Establishing regional emergency reserves of food,
- Publishing information on actual and forecasted food stocks,
- Improving regulation of commodity futures markets, and
- Preventing food crops being used to produce biofuel.
Oxfam reports that while Canadians spend on average about 10% of their income on food, a family in a developing country could spent as much as 80% of their income on food.
“Access to food and fair distribution of food to people in poverty is critical to global security,” said Elizabeth May. “Canada needs to take a lead.”