Family farms need better policies in Canada and globally

Montréal, October 14, 2014 – This October 16, Canadians will be participating in the global celebration of World Food Day, created by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Food Secure Canada has created an online map capturing the wide range of World Food Day events that will be organized across the country. Organizations are invited to upload their activities themselves through a simple web form.

Many international studies have confirmed how critical family farming is to global food security, and yet small and medium sized farms in both developing and industrialized countries are facing increasing pressure: land speculation, lack of competition in commercial seed markets, climate change, intellectual property regimes, export focused trade rules. This is exacerbated by a lack of understanding on the part of governments about the critical role family farmers play in food security and food sovereignty, providing healthy and fresh produce, and responding to renewed interest in the general public for local and sustainable food.

According to the last Census of Agriculture, over the past 70 years, average farm size almost quadrupled, while the number of farms in Canada declined. In 2011, there were 205,730 farms, representing a 10.3% decline from 2006. This exacerbates a 7.1% decline between 2001 and 2006 .  The average age of farmers in Canada is 54 and the next generation faces many obstacles in accessing the land and equipment they need to farm sustainably.

To assist new entrants and to support sustainable livelihoods for all farmers, Food Secure Canada and its members are involved in a variety of research projects and programmes (eg. Local and Sustainable Network, National Farmers Union, ETC Group, FarmStart, ACORN).

The protection of seed diversity is also a key issue for FSC, who will testify on this topic at the Standing Committee on Agriculture Hearings on Bill C-18 on October 23.

Dr. Vandana Shiva, celebrated writer, ardent defender of the family farm and recipient of numerous international prizes will be the keynote speaker on November 13 at the Bi-annual Assembly of Food Secure Canada and ACORN Conference in Halifax during which there be numerous workshops and panels that will focus on this priority theme for the future of Canada’s food sovereignty. 




Contact :
Julie Croizille : communications


Credit photos:

Parisienne carrots, photo by Susy Morris