Think Global, Act Local

I’m writing this blog entry 30 minutes before the official publication of the Global Food and Farming Futures report, but we know what it’s going to tell us.

Things are going to have to change drastically if we’re going to avoid increasing levels of global food poverty… even food and water wars. Like the climate change issue of a few years ago, there is now a growing but, I think, grudging acceptance of this in the West. It is so at odds with our day-to-day experience of the excesses of food around us and the ease of access and vast range of choice that most of us currently have.

Together with the three other modern Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Climate Change, Peak Oil and Population Growth; Global Food Crisis will be a tough adversary, but the best start is to not ignore it.

I don’t need to make the case here. (I like Arvind Subramanian’s analysis and ‘solutions’; The global food crisis: A toolkit for audacious leaders). Like with the related and more recognisable challenges to a good and peaceful future, the issues are enormously complex and multilayered but also very simple. Things will have to change. We will have to change.

I have the privilege of being surrounded by live examples of local action that make change for the better. I’d love to see a Cyrenians Farm or Community Gardens at the heart of every town and city in Scotland, boosting local production and sharing skills and love of growing. Cyrenians Organics Recycling Enterprise (CORE) simply must be up-scaled nationally and developed as domestic food waste solution. Our FareShare service diverts usable surplus from waste and has developed inspiring ways of using it as a hand up for people in food poverty rather than just a hand-out.

There is a quote on the notice board in front of my desk: ‘Many small people, who in many small places do many small things, can alter the face of the world.’ (An excerpt taken from the Berlin wall)


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