Skip to main content
Home » World Food Day » The power farmers have to build sustainable, resilient food systems
World Food Day Q3 2023

The power farmers have to build sustainable, resilient food systems

Couple of farmers examines the field of cereals and sends data to the cloud from the digital tablet
Couple of farmers examines the field of cereals and sends data to the cloud from the digital tablet
iStock / Getty Images Plus / Scharfsinn86

Arianna Giuliodori

Secretary General, World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO)

Farmers hold the key to ensuring a positive impact on nature and meeting the needs of a growing global population with fresh, nutritious food. Lab-grown food isn’t the answer to hunger or environmental issues.

In the battle against global hunger and the pursuit of resilient food systems, one crucial group emerges as the unsung heroes: the farmers. Armed with invaluable traditional knowledge, innovators by nature and necessity, and driven by a passion for taking care of their community’s land, they hold the key to forging a healthier future for our planet.

Farmer solutions to end hunger and restore ecosystems

Farmers worldwide are actively working to build a better future for all, yet they cannot tackle global challenges alone. Collaboration among stakeholders is essential to achieving Zero Hunger and restoring the planet’s health.

During the recent UN Food Systems Summit +2 Stocktaking Moment, the organisation I have the honour to serve as Secretary General, the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), urged the need to rebalance power in the food value chain and foster connections between producers and consumers.

The current unbalanced power dynamic has resulted in a paradox where farmers who feed the world suffer the most from hunger, especially in developing countries. To ensure food security for a growing population amidst climate change and global crises, we must embrace diverse agricultural systems, promote inclusivity and transparency, and encourage research and innovation while preserving tradition.

Farmers who feed the world
suffer the most from hunger.

No reliable evidence compares cell-based to farmer-produced food

Food systems are complex, diverse, and interconnected, so simplistic solutions can’t work. The mirage of lab-grown food, presented as the game-changer that can tackle world hunger and nature deterioration, is a false myth.

WFO, on behalf of over 1.2 billion farmers, has taken a resolute stand against adopting lab-grown as an alternative to the food resulting from agriculture. Such substitutes dismiss farmers’ work and contribution to sustainability and push consumers towards a homogenous dietary model that undermines the tradition, quality, and uniqueness of local food systems. Additionally, cell-based food is failing to demonstrate its long-term health effects.

WFO values innovation and advocates for a bottom-up, science-based, result-oriented approach. Farmers, researchers, and stakeholders must work together to develop sustainable and innovative practices to produce, process, distribute and consume healthy, nutritious food.

It is imperative to unlock investments for innovation in ‘real agriculture’ and make it accessible and affordable to all farmers, strengthening their resilience and capacity to feed the world while positively impacting nature. This is the only way to secure a brighter ‘future of food’ for our people and planet.

Next article