Worldwide, policies to meet ambitious targets on food security, health, climate change and biodiversity are being translated into local actions by cities, regions and other local actors. Many of these directly target or impact food systems. This means that they are also likely to have significant impacts on the food producers who feed the world. Right now, many farmers struggle to make ends meet and some are already experiencing the consequences of nature loss and climate change, to which food systems and urban demand contribute.
A just transition in food and farming is needed for both cities and farmers where:
Cities refer to a variety of settlements including villages, towns, rural municipalities, large cities and other sub-national authorities like county, council and provincial governments.
Farmers refer to people who are primary food producers including people engaged in agriculture, livestock raising, fishing, pastoralism and forestry.
Just transition refers to a transition to healthier food systems that secure sustainable food for cities and sustainable futures for farmers.
The Fork to Farm dialogues are about farmers and cities being the drivers, rather than the objects, of transformation. These dialogues were local-led relationship-building meetings being held across the world in preparation for our Global Fork to Farm Dialogue at COP26.
To date, the voices of farmers have often been absent in food systems and food policy discussions. For farmers to be at the forefront of change, it is necessary to strengthen trust between farmers and cities.
In November at COP26 we faced the monumental challenge of bridging the gap between countries’ current climate commitments and the transformation that is urgently needed to tackle our climate emergency. This cannot be done without addressing the role of food systems and critical local actors: Food producers and local governments.
The Global Fork to Farm dialogue brought together local government representatives with practicing farmers. During a day without speeches – one of roundtable discussions, facilitated learning, and frank exchange – participants brought food systems close to the climate negotiations. They built mutual understanding and cooperation to ensure that the road from Glasgow to the Paris Agreement goals passes through a farm gate.
Read our Fork to Farm Global Dialogue Report