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Industrial leaders meeting at the G8 summit this week again failed the millions of people around the world who are hardest hit by the current food crisis, failing to recognise the damage done to livelihoods by factory farming.
As outlined in our recent report – Industrial Animal Agriculture – Part of the poverty problem – industrial agriculture is not only responsible for the suffering of billions of animals around the world, is also a key part of the poverty problem. The solution lies in sustainable agriculture and humane and sustainable farming.
Food and agriculture expert Colin Tudge, who wrote the foreword to this report and is author of Feeding People is Easy, commented: “WSPA’s brilliant report went right to the heart of this matter practically as well as morally and politically and their answer is that industrialized animal production exacerbates global poverty, and of course it does – in a dozen different ways.”
Industrial animal agriculture has historically been promoted by some governments and international development organisations, due to the – now discredited – belief that the growth generated through increased production would ‘trickle down’ and benefit those suffering from poverty and hunger.
However in developing countries, industrial animal agriculture devastates the livelihoods of local farmers, destroying rural structures and communities; its inefficient use of food sources and production as well as dependence on imports and technology make food supplies insecure.
Significant environmental and human health costs are also created by the countries involved, rather than by the foreign-owned corporations profiting from the goods.
We urge any future development support for agriculture to be given only to humane and sustainable agriculture, local production for local consumption, and the achievement and maintenance of a healthy diet.
International organisations need to change current policies, making industrial agricultural corporations bear full liability for the detrimental impacts of their products. No support – political or financial – should be given to industrial animal agriculture.