As 2012 is the International Year of Co-operatives, this is an ideal time to launch our exciting new Tackling Global Poverty campaign: Grow Co-operatives. Read on to hear directly from our campaigns team about what we are hoping to achieve and why, as well as finding out how you can get involved.
At The Co-operative, we have a long history of campaigning on the issue of global poverty and in our latest Grow Co-operatives campaign we are focusing on the 500 million smallholder farmers across the world who – unknown to many consumers – together feed a third of humanity!
Despite increased agricultural yields and declines in absolute poverty, one in seven people around the world still go to bed hungry every night. Added to this, the global population is only getting bigger, with a further 2 billion people predicted to be on the planet by 2050!
We feel it is time to act on this, which is why we have launched our Grow Co-operatives campaign alongside Oxfam. If smallholder farmers like Betty (pictured) are given the right tools, training and investment, we believe that they offer one of the best routes to sustainably feed the world’s growing population, particularly if supported to form co-operatives.
Co-operatives offer many benefits for smallholder farmers, such as the ability to pool resources, to realise economies of scale and to secure fairer prices for their products. For these reasons, we are calling for increased international investment to help smallholder farmers and co-operatives to feed the world sustainably.
A crucial first opportunity to get smallholder farmers and co-operatives firmly on the international agenda is Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development on 20-22 June 2012.
That is why our members and Oxfam’s supporters will be calling on the UK Government to champion three things at Rio+20: