Food Revolution Poster

£0.01/ Free Download / 1 A3 page / March 2013

Food Revolution

About 40-50% of the Earth’s land surface is used for agriculture [1]. How it is used has profound implications for the environment, social justice and, of course, the ability of people around the world to provide food for themselves.

Between the 1940s and 1970s, the 'Green Revolution' imposed the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides and high-yield cereals. Food production increased, but so did the number of hungry people. The Green Revolution was more about western countries and large scale agribusiness controlling global food production than about feeding the world's hungry.

The techniques promoted by the Green Revolution leave soil depleted of nutrients and are extremely energy-intensive, resulting in huge greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, large-scale agribusiness and financial speculation on food prices is creating enormous profits for a few multinationals and 'investors', while leaving vast numbers of people around the world hungry or starving.

Determined to maintain control, rich countries and corporations are pushing for further use of 'free' market mechanisms, genetic modification (GM), agrofuels and chemical-intensive monocultures, all of which have disastrous environmental and social consequences.

People around the world are calling for a new agricultural revolution, involving smaller scale, sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty. These approaches can not only increase food production but also alleviate the problems of hunger, social injustice, greenhouse emissions and biodiversity loss.

For a more detailed examination of our food systems, see Corporate Watch's Rough Guide to the UK Farming Crisis, particularly the Rebalancing Power in the Food System section.

[1] IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007, chapter 8 – Agriculture

Illustration by Edd Baldry