News / 21 January 2016

Letter to Dutch Parliament: Sustainable agriculture is the future

Today, 800 million (almost 1 billion!) people around the world suffer from acute hunger. Add to that the almost two billion people who do not have access to even a minimum of healthy and nutritious food, and the way in which food production currently causes deforestation, erosion, pollution and climate change, and it’s clear why it’s time to do things differently! The Dutch government has set itself the goal of tackling this problem thoroughly and food security is one of the focus areas of the Netherlands’ development cooperation policy. Both ENDS shares that ambition, but feels that the government’s approach could be much better and more future-proof.

For this reason nine organisations,* including Both ENDS, have written a letter to the members of the House of Representatives. In the letter, we call on development minister Lilianne Ploumen and agriculture minister Martijn van Dam to propose alternatives that address the real causes of food insecurity, especially in the long term. To help make food production genuinely more sustainable and resilient, the Netherlands’ food security policy should focus on agro-ecological agricultural methods. Agro-ecology makes use of the rich knowledge and experience of local farmers, male and female, throughout the world, combined with the latest scientific insights. It is a way of producing food that does not lead to deforestation and pollution, that spares the climate, and which – if applied worldwide – would produce enough food to feed everyone.


Other important points in food security policy that the Netherlands supports are the fair distribution of, and worldwide access to, enough healthy food for all. Because this is often obstructed by international trade and investment agreements, it is also important to work on an international trade and investment policy – with the Netherlands at the forefront – that makes a positive contribution to food security and sustainability.



*ActionAid, Both ENDS, Dierencoalitie, ETC, Hivos, Ileia, Kerngroep Voedsel Anders, Milieudefensie, Wemos. 

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