Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Farm labour

Image: CIAT, A bunch of avocados grown by a smallholder farmer near Palmira, southwestern Colombia, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
17 July 2018

Smallholders with farms under two hectares produce 28–31% of all crops and 30–34% of all food supply on 24% of the world’s agricultural land, according to a new paper. This contrasts with common claims that smallholders produce 70–80% of the world’s food. The paper also finds that, relative to larger farms, farms under two hectares have greater crop species diversity, allocate less of their crop outputs towards feed and processing and are important suppliers of fruit, pulses, roots and tubers.

10 July 2018

UK charity Oxfam has launched a new campaign, Behind the Barcodes, to highlight human suffering in the food supply chain. Oxfam has scored the major UK supermarkets on their human rights policies in the categories of transparency, workers, farmers and women, and is encouraging shoppers to contact supermarkets to voice their concerns.

10 July 2018

This book, by Raquel Ajates Gonzalez, uses a multidisciplinary approach to study the contribution of farmers’ cooperatives in the European Union towards sustainable food systems.

Image: iUNU, Luna Rail Network, Luna Press Kit
26 June 2018

The Spoon interviewed the founder of iUNU, a company that makes a robotic system to monitor and manage commercial greenhouses. The system, known as Luna, uses cameras that are mounted on rails to observe the plants, and uses machine learning to interpret what it sees and help growers manage yields.

4 June 2018

The book “A handbook of food crime: Immoral and illegal practices in the food industry and what to do about them”, edited by Allison Gray and Ronald Hinch, discusses some of the problems in current food systems that lead to food crime. Topics discussed include food adulteration, forced labour in the chocolate industry, animal transportation and regulation of food waste.

6 March 2018

This free book, published by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University and edited by the People’s Knowledge Editorial Collective, explores the ways in which the knowledge of people directly involved in the food supply chain can help in transforming the food system.

Image: Tax Credits, Money Plant, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 March 2018

This article examines financialisation - i.e. the development of investment opportunities and financial products such as futures contracts for agricultural commodities, index funds, speculative investment in real estate and insurance - in the agricultural and food sectors.

Image: Hernán Piñera, Regreso / Return, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
6 February 2018

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Liberty Asia and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership have created a database to help corporate seafood buyers check fisheries for risk of slavery, forced labour and hazardous child labour.

Image: US Department of Agriculture, k11662-1, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 February 2018

Tougher immigration laws, the rising cost of labour and cheap credit could encourage dairy farms to use more robots, according to this article in Bloomberg.

Photo: muffinn, Hallow – muck spreading, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 Generic.
29 March 2017

This review assesses the performance of organic cropping systems as an approach to sustainable agriculture, and seeks to identify the contextual considerations (such as type of cropping system) that may affect this performance. The scope of the review is constrained to the level of the farming system (i.e. excludes considerations of other components of the food system, such as packaging or transport). In order to provide an unbiased assessment of organic farming as a means of sustainable agriculture, rather than approaching the question from the usual “What does organic farming do well/badly?” angle, the authors ask “What constitutes successful sustainable agriculture?” then measure organic farming against this yardstick.

15 March 2017

Utilizing a model derived from literature on environmental justice overlaid with multiple scales of agriculture, Environmental Justice and Farm Labor provides key insights about laborers in agriculture in the United States. It addresses three main topics: (1) justice-related issues facing farmers and laborers on farms; (2) how history and policy have impacted them; and (3) the opportunities and leverage points for change in improving justice outcomes.

16 July 2015

This policy research working paper by the world-bank has revisited numbers on women’s contribution to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Its findings have challenged the development profession to revisit a number of claims about African economies, including those about the role of women in African agriculture.

4 June 2014

This book is the first to address global agro-migration complexes across the Mediterranean regions of south and west Europe.

4 March 2013

Oxfam has published a report, Behind the Brands, which assesses the ethical performance of the ‘big 10’ food companies against criteria such as transparency of supply chains and operations, ensuring the rights of workers, protection of women's rights, the management of water and land use, policies to reduce the impacts of climate change and ensuring farmers’ rights.

6 February 2013

Fairtrade International (FLO) has published ‘Monitoring the Scope and Benefits of Fairtrade 2012’, a compendium of data and summaries of key research exploring the impacts of Fairtrade. The report highlights the importance of small farmer organisations in the Fairtrade system. This year’s report also provides the results of recent research studies containing evidence about the longer-term impacts of Fairtrade. Some key findings include:

11 December 2012

The Cocoa Barometer 2012, a joint initiative of the VOICE Network (a coalition of NGOs), has produced a report that aims to provide an overview of current sustainability developments in the cocoa sector.