"I feel lucky that I work and live in a community where there are still small scale farmers creating fantastic products and local employment. The We Feed the World project aims to connect as many people as possible to the source of their food supply and gets them to question just who is dictating the future of their food economy and why? I urge everyone who thinks that’s an important question to get behind this” Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
What’s the Project about?
We Feed the World is a global photographic campaign that aims to engage a large, mainstream audience in the future of our food supply and challenge the myth that we need an industrial food system to feed a growing global population.
Through a series of images, shot by over 30 award-winning photographers, the project will celebrate the small, family farmers that currently feed over 70 percent of the world’s population and showcase the positive impact sustainable agriculture has on our health, environment, culture and society.
This is the first time such a large number of high profile photographers have come together to back a single cause. Their images and the farmers stories will form a large-scale exhibition, which will open in London in September 2016 and then tour six regional cities in the UK, including Bristol, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Through the exhibition and accompanying book, we want people to consider the impact of their everyday choices about where they shop and what they eat. There has never been a more important time to do this – food and farming is at a critical point and unless we act now to protect our food supply we risk going down a road of no return.
The exhibition will attract significant attention to this vital story and ensure many more people enter the debate. Your money will enable this to happen. Then it will go onto help finance small, farming projects around the world through the sales of the exhibition prints and the accompanying book.
In return, you'll not only get the satisfaction of being part of a critically important movement but you can select from a number of "rewards" being offered on our site including organic goodie boxes and meals out at some of the UK's top ethical restaurants.
Copyright: © Simon Urwin
Who We Are...
The project is being led by Beyond GM, a campaign group with an impressive history of public engagement and high profile campaigns. Last year, it launched The Letter from America, an open letter from American citizens to British citizens detailing the impact of 20 years of growing and eating GMOs. The Letter has been signed by individuals and groups representing 60 million Americans including high profile individuals such as Susan Sarandon, Daryl Hannah and Robert Kennedy Junior. It generated hundreds of letters to MPs in the UK and has now been translated into 8 languages.
This is what Daryl Hannah had to say about the campaign; "Now is the time we must focus on and invest in the resilient agricultural practices that will allow us to thrive – for the sake of human health, the survival of other species and the wellbeing of the planetary ecosystem as a whole!” Daryl Hannah
With this project, Beyond GM is working with the ex-picture editor of the Daily Telegraph Magazine, Cheryl Newman, to bring together a body of world-renowned photographers who will donate their time to take portraits of farmers around the world. These include fashion photographer, Rankin, award winning British photographers Marcus Bleasdale and Jane Hilton, Magnum photographers, Alec Soth, Jim Goldberg and Alessandra Sanguinetti and celebrated Brazilian photojournalist, Sebastaio Selgado plus many more. Each of the photographers will take portraits of farmers in a country they are familiar with - either where they were born, live or work.
Photo: Copyright © Rankin
Who Else is involved?
Beyond GM are working alongside a number of organisations who work directly with the small, family farmers around the world, helping them to preserve their traditional ways of farming or transition to more sustainable, agroecological methods of food production. These include the Gaia Foundation, The African Biodiversity Network, La Via Campesina, Groundswell International, EkoRural and Slow Food Youth.
"The We Feed the World Project is a vital contribution to the food justice movement and The Gaia Foundation are delighted to be a part of it. As the corporations pushing the industrial agriculture model spends billions on advertising and PR to spin an inaccurate impression amongst the general public, it’s critical that this is challenged by compelling and honest portrayals of the true face of food and farming around the world"Rowan Phillimore, Deputy Director, The Gaia Foundation
We also work with a number of organisations who are helping us to spread the campaign message to a wider network. These include GMO Free USA, the Soil Association, River Cottage and Vivienne Westwood's Climate Revolution.
"We Feed the World is an amazing opportunity for everyone in this country to engage with a healthier, more climate-friendly and more democratic food system. We have to speak out against the giant monopolies and government policies that are currently trying to dominate the food that we eat. Farmers must come before Profit! The Earth is not dispensable! Lets use the power of social media to share this campaign with as many people as we can and start a revolution in our food supply". Vivienne Westwood, The Climate Revolution
Photo: Copyright © Juergen Teller
Who are the Farmers?
The farmers will be selected from hundreds of inspiring case studies from around the world. Together, they will form an global picture of agroecolgy in action, representing a wide cross section of age, gender, backgrounds and agricultural practice. Their stories will introduce us to the challenges facing agriculture today as well as the farmers' personal experiences of producing food for their families, communities and the wider market.
We have been lucky enough to meet some of these farmers already and there stories are truly inspiring. From small villages in India where the women call the shots to the man who turned a disused, inner-city parking lot into an urban Garden of Eden, these are stories of individuals, families and communities who have overcome the odds or defied the status quo to produce food in a way that works for their health and environment as well as their financial future.
Photo: Copyright © Gaia Foundation
The exhibition will be made up of some 100 images of farmers and their environment. It will open with a high-profile launch party at a central London venue in September 2016 for a run of two weeks. From here, it will tour six regional cities around the UK. At each venue, Beyond GM will work with local food groups to engage the community in the issues the exhibition highlights through a series of talks and workshops.
Alongside the exhibition, the project will produce a high-quality photographic book which will feature all the images from the exhibition and stories about the farmers and their communities. Copies of this book will be available through the exhibition space but you can pre-order your own, discounted copy through the crowdfunding website now.
We Feed the World is offering a wide variety of "rewards" for both companies and individuals who want to invest in this important and inspiring project. You can be part of the project from the beginning by pre-ordering your copy of the book now. If you are one of the first hundred people to do this, we will also throw in a ticket to the opening night of the exhibition in London! There are plenty of other rewards too - from courses at River Cottage to meals out at some of the UK's top ethical restaurants. We also have 100 organic goodie boxes featuring products from Jo Wood Organics, Pukka Teas, Viridian, Belvoir Drinks, Riverford and Rude Health.
Where will your money go?
Your money will help help turn this campaign into a large-scale, touring exhibition which you will be able to visit and engage with. It will also help produce the book and a behind-the-scenes film which will feature interviews with the photographers and the farmers. All the profits made by the project will go back to the farmers through the organisations that work with them on the ground.