Support farmers, report urges

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Fixing the “dangerously out-of-control” food system must focus on efforts to support small-scale farmers in poor countries, a report will urge today.

The system is broken for everyone, from consumers to companies and producers, but the millions of smallholder farmers who grow staple foods we consume in the UK, such as tea and bananas lose out the most, a Fairtrade Foundation report said.

The world’s 500 million smallholder farmers grow 70 per cent of the world’s food, and in crops such as cocoa the figure reaches 90 per cent, but often they go to bed hungry, the foundation said.

Smallholders who grow cash crops do not get a fair return for the produce even when commodity prices are high, and as a result they can struggle to feed themselves and their families in the face of high food prices.