With Global Biodiversity Framework negotiations about to wrap up in Nairobi this article was drafted to address some of the broader narratives that shape issues like horizon scanning, ‘30 by 30’ and technology assessment negotiations within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This context is especially important for ensuring that gender, human rights and Indigenous rights are at the center of protecting and ensuring biodiversity for the future.
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These recorded webinars (held on 29 & 30 June 2022) provide an introduction to the digitalisation of food systems from seed to stomach (also known as the 4.0 revolution in food and agriculture). You can view them on YouTube and we are compiling additional materials: please find all relevant links below.
Session 1: Power and technology: the digital food chain | By ETC Group
A debate has emerged as to what proportion of the global food supply is produced by small-scale food producers - one that may have big implications for policy-making addressing hunger. Civil society organisations and peasant movements have estimated that around 70% of the world is fed by small-scale farmers and other peasants. However, two recent academic papers are claiming that small farm producers really only feed about one third of the world’s population.
ETC Group is sad to have learned of the passing of Dr Arpad Pusztai on 17th December this Year. Dr Pustzai was a much respected, highly published UK government food safety scientist originally from Hungary. In 1998 his research, which raised questions about the safety of Genetic Engineering in potatoes, caused a political storm, cost him his job and became the lightning rod for a fierce public debate and popular revolt against GM foods in the UK .
Digital agriculture, as being proposed by giant agribusiness and data companies, should come with a warning for farmers, farm workers and food vendors. Read our blog below to find out about why in more detail (with examples) and about alternative approaches (also with some real world, feasible examples). But if you are short of time, check out our bullet point ‘what to watch out for’ summary:
Who decides the future of food? When politicians, companies and others talk about ‘the food system’, they include the work of growing, producing and distributing food. But there is more than one way of organising a food system. Over the last few decades, the way in which people grow, share and eat food around the world has become a tale of two conflicting food systems – which we call the Industrial Food Chain and the Peasant Food Web. We created the game Disruption! to bring to life the tension between these two food systems and reveal the dangerous dynamics it creates.
In celebration of United Nations World Philosophy Day 2021, ETC Group presents its third and final podcast in the "Spanner in the System" series, focussing on the philosophical underpinnings of corporate visions for disruptive technology.
You can listen to it on our podcast channels on Apple, Google, Spotify and YouTube, and here.