GROW is Oxfam’s new campaign for better ways to grow, share, and live together. A campaign for the billions of us who eat food and over a billion men and women who grow it, to share solutions for a more hopeful future in which everyone always has enough to eat. Soon there will be nine billion of us on the planet. To be specific Tanzania will have 82 million people by 2050, that is, twice as we are right now. We are all in this together.
Our societies must grow to meet our increasing needs. But more of the same is not the answer. Some of the ways we grow today are increasing inequality and misuse our natural resources – the fertile land, stable climate and fresh water on which we all rely. Already almost a billion of us go to bed hungry every night globally with no exception for Tanzania, not because there isn’t enough, but because of deep imbalances in opportunity and control of resources. Now half a century of slow progress is being reversed. An age of crisis, extreme weather, rising prices, and failing production threatens to push many more back into hunger. This is a turning point.
A system organized by vested interests is failing the rest of us. To meet humankind’s needs and take the pressure off the planet, we need to grow more fairly and sustainably, and to choose cooperation over division. A powerful few, including some politicians and business elites, argue the answers are:
More industrial agriculture, controlled by a few big corporations, using yet more resources. Land grabs by corporate interests that dispossess men and women living in poverty.
These are false solutions that benefit the few most. Worse enough, when it comes to small producers and poor Tanzanians, the solutions aim at only reducing symptoms but not tacking the root cause. The plan for the GROW campaign is to share solutions for the many, not just the few. To expose the threats we face, limit the power of vested interests, and help grow movements for a better future. To make practical positive changes in how we produce, consume, share and manage food and other resources. We are campaigning for three big shifts in how we grow, share, and live together on the planet:
1. Growing better
We can and must invest in a new agriculture, so that over 60% small-scale food producers in Tanzania, many of them women, are no longer starved of the land and resources they need to sustainably grow enough for themselves and others.
2. Sharing better
We can and must transform how we govern the food system – managing markets to prevent food crises and price hijacking, stopping corporate abuses of power, reforming flawed policies at global and national level, and empowering families and communities to respond to shocks and disasters.
3. Living better
We can and must build a new prosperity, with better ways to do business, organize our economies and live our lives – an ecological future rich in shared resources, safe from the risks of a changing climate, more equal and well balanced, valuing what really matters for human progress and future generations.
To achieve these shifts, GROW is Oxfam’s biggest campaign ever.
Movements for a better future are already growing all around the planet. We join hands with them. We target governments, well-known and powerful companies, and global forums like the G20 summit. We will name and shame those who are failing, support those who are building a new vision, and create more space for leaders to be bold. We are work with others to involve many millions more in the growing public conversation about food, better ways of living, and the future of our planet –empowering people, sharing knowledge, and taking action. Together, we will press governments for urgent action to prevent crises, reform policies, preserve scarce resources, and ensure equal rights.
We will demand responsibility from companies, and expose the multinational interests grabbing precious land or profiting from volatility. We will advocate for policies that empower over a million men and women who grow food and the millions more of us who eat it. We will help to build a safer, fairer and more hopeful future.But practical positive change starts with each one of us. Every time we choose food that’s produced fairly and sustainably, every time we harvest what we’ve sown, every time we cut our environmental footprint, and every time we press governments and companies to change their ways, we’re helping to make good things grow.
As our ambassador Steven Kanumba said “A fair food system is possible, the one that is more equal and more sustainable, let’s remove food injustice within our families as we change global food system to become fair to all” Share solutions for food, life and the planet. Join the movement. Let’s grow a better way.