Thanks to all in the diocese for the generous response to CAFOD’s Lent appeals and for supporting Ukraine’s humanitarian appeals. As well as responding to emergency needs, we aim to tackle some of the underlying causes of poverty and suffering, to this end, our focus continues to be on food. Our new campaign called Fix the food system is urging the UK government to keep the promises it made at the COP26 climate talks last year and support agricultural systems that tackle the climate crisis as well as putting local communities first.
The way we produce food isn’t working, we produce more than we need and yet 800 million people don’t have enough to eat. Giant corporations put profits first and are damaging our precious environment. Research suggests the industry accounts for more than a third of global annual greenhouse gas emissions, producing around 19 times more carbon dioxide annually than commercial aviation! The combination of climate change, the pandemic, and the crisis in the Ukraine region are causing rising costs of food and agricultural products and it has revealed the fragility of our current global food system. In times of crisis, these impacts are mostly felt in low-income countries, but they also have serious repercussions at home. Earlier this year it was reported that 9% of the UK population didn’t have enough affordable and nutritious food in spite of living in the fifth-largest economy in the world.
Pope Francis says “Each of us has a role to play in transforming food systems for the benefit of people and the planet” and CAFOD invites us to find out more about the global food system. By ordering CAFOD’s Fix the food system 7 station journey resource, designed for parish groups of any size, parishioners can meet together and become inspired to make change together.
7 years ago Pope Francis wrote his encyclical Laudato Si. He invited everyone in the world to see the interconnectedness of people and our precious environment and urged us to see that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach. This year, Laudato Si, week begins 22nd May, and in the spirit of synodal listening we are encouraged to come together, to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and to reflect on ways to protect our common home. Alongside CAFOD’s Fix the Food system exercise there are many parish resources on environmental themes are available from our Diocesan website under Bishops Commissions.
And here is the good news
Alternatives to the current food system already exist. Small farmers like Suchitra in Bangladesh are growing food in ways that provide a decent income for their families, help local economies and are good for the climate.
Our food system can be transformed if more small farmers are better supported. But the UK government gives the majority of its support to big businesses.
Will you email the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, today? The UK government must implement its COP26 commitments and support agricultural systems that put local communities first and protect the planet just click on Fix the food system.
For information or support to organise a Fix the food system event in your parish email firstname.lastname@example.org