Last updated: May 2016
Food Campaigns to Support
We list a number of campaigns that are striving for a fairer food system which is owned by many rather than an elite few, and that respects animals, farmers and the planet.
The Food Campaign
Global Justice Now is campaigning against what it calls the 'new scramble for Africa'. New road and railways are being built to link rural areas to ports to export resources such as oil, sugar cane and cereal. These are vital resources for local people. Countries and big corporations are investing in this infrastructure in a bid to take control over land and seeds in Africa.
Global Justice Now is trying to prevent this land and seed grab. The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition is an aid scheme that gives money from rich countries, like the UK, to Africa in exchange for changes to African seed and land laws. These changes will take control and land from small-scale farmers and give it to large corporations.
This New Alliance is a huge threat to the livelihood of these farmers. The European Parliament is currently reviewing the New Alliance. Global Justice Now is calling on the public to email your MEPs to call for the EU to withdraw its support.
Food Sovereignty Movement
Global Justice Now is part of the wider Food Sovereignty Movement which is striving for a fairer food system which empowers small-scale farmers and takes back control of our food. Find out more about the movement and how you can get involved.
Turn Your Nose up to Pig Factories
#TurnYourNoseUp is a campaign focusing on the low animal welfare suffered by pigs in most pork factories across the UK and beyond. Farms Not Factories launched a video exposing the shocking treatment of these pigs, which are often kept in cramped conditions and heavily dosed-up with antibiotics.
Footage from the video shows what life is like for these pigs. ¾ of the pork we consume is from large indoor industrial pork factories. Mother pigs are unable to move for 2.5 months of the year, being trapped in narrow metal cages. These cruel conditions mean that stress and disease is rife, leading to the routine use of antibiotics to combat illness.
About 45% of antibiotics used in the UK are used on animals. The overuse of antibiotics on pigs leads to superbugs – antibiotic-resistant diseases that can be passed onto humans when we eat the pork.
Consumers can join a number of high-profile celebrities supporting the campaign on social media. Post a selfie, turning your nose up with the hashtag #TurnYourNoseUp. You can also buy a limited edition Vivienne Westwood T-shirt, 75% of proceeds go to Farms Not Factories.
Greenpeace Sustainable Tuna Campaign
Greenpeace released their Tinned Tuna League Table back in October 2015 which ranked both independent and supermarket own brands. They were rated on a range of factors such as fishing methods, workers' rights, transparency, sustainability and sea-to-shelf traceability.
The results of the research confirmed that John West are not doing enough in terms of sustainability. John West's tins contain just 2% sustainable tuna, despite an earlier commitment to be 100% sustainable by the end of 2016. The league table prompted a campaign against John West to clean up their act.
Photo credit: Emily Buchanan
A recent investigation by Greenpeace caught suppliers of John West using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS). This fishing method accidentally also catches a variety of wildlife such as sharks or turtles which are eventually dumped dead back in the ocean.
Greenpeace are demanding that brands drastically improve sustainability standards and ensure that they are selling #JustTuna. The campaign has been successful in shining the light on the unethical practices of John West. This has led to both Tesco and Waitrose threatening to drop the John West tuna brand if they don't clean up their act by the end of 2016.
Greenpeace are now demanding that Sainsbury's follows suit. Email Sainsbury's asking them to drop John West.
Eating Better is an alliance of national organisations promoting a greener and healthier food system. Greater value is placed on the food we eat, the animals that provide it and the people who produce it. The alliance promotes a 'less but better' approach to meat, where high animal welfare is vital.
Eating Better is calling for action by governments and the food industry to shift policy towards a more sustainable food system.
Its aims include:
- Modify the 'EatWell Plate' to include less meat
- Implement food and agriculture strategies into climate change debate
- Introduce mandatory procurement standards for caterers to improve sustainability of food in schools, prisons, hospitals and car homes.
- Fairer farming for the farmer, our health, the animals and the environment
- Improve diversity of plant-based protein options
- End use of antibiotics in farming
- Deliver a European Healthy Sustainable Food and Farming Policy
In May 2016, the Eating Better campaign launched the #MeatFreeLunch challenge encouraging consumers to swap their lunchtime meat, fish, cheese or egg option for a plant-based, vegan option. It has ranked eight supermarkets (Asda, Boots, Co-op, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose) and four high street sandwich chains (EAT, Greggs, Pret a Manger and Subway) based on their vegan lunch options. They are hoping that this will encourage companies to expand their lunch range to accomodate for the growing flexitarian market.
Consumers can take part on twitter by sharing their #MeatFreeLunch. Head to the Eating Better website for tips, recipes and ethical labels.
Palm Oil Campaign
The Rainforest Foundation has launched a campaign to try to prevent further destruction of the rainforest from palm oil production. Palm oil is an ingredient found in over 50% of products in a supermarket. Worldwide demand for palm oil is expected to double by 2050. This would increase the threat of a number of wild animals, displace even more indigenous communities and be devastating for the rainforest.
With research from Ethical Consumer, The Rainforest Foundation has produced a palm oil product guide. This guide includes ratings for over 100 brands and companies and highlights which ones to avoid and which ones to buy.
The campaign is urging consumers to use this guide when shopping to make more informed choices. It shows that despite the widespread use of palm oil in products, it is possible to boycott the harmful ingredient.
So, the campaign is asking consumers to use the guide, spread the word on social media, become a rainforest defender and even to organise a palm oil free event.