Family and smallholder farming is a key sector of the global economy with a major role to play in the well-being of billions of people. More than 70 per cent of the world’s food production is provided by family-run farms, and 40 per cent of the planet’s households depend on family farming as their main source of income.
Family farming can combat poverty and hunger while at the same time respecting the environment and biodiversity. Recognizing the social and economic potential of this sector, the UN General Assembly has declared 2014 the International Year on Family Farming (IYFF).
Within the context of IYFF, the European Foundation Initiative of Family Farming was launched in March 2014 as a new collaborative of funders seeking to increase the visibility of the family/smallholder farming agenda among foundations. It also aims to increase awareness of the contribution of foundations and their partners in this area and create opportunities for philanthropic actors to connect with other key stakeholders. Close to 20 foundations are currently involved in this network, which is being coordinated by the European Foundation Centre. The collaborative focuses on three key themes:
- feeding the cities and improving the rural-urban nexus
- supporting farmers and farmer organizations
- agro-ecology and sustainable farming practices
These themes will develop a call to action that will be launched at the first major conference organized by the group in Brussels at the end of October. This event will also see the launch of an in-depth study of foundation approaches to supporting family farming.
Beyond 2014, the collaborative is envisaging a series of activities around next year’s international Expo in Milan, which will be focusing on the theme ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. It is also exploring potential collaborations with other networks of foundations such as the Global Alliance for the Future of Food.
Contact Stephanie Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org