IFOAM – Organics International Celebrating Farmers with the #IGrowYourFood Action Day
Organic food and farming provide a significant solution to many of today’s challenges – foremost the climate and biodiversity crises. A report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization states that unsustainable and industrial agriculture is the largest driver of biodiversity and habitat loss, and it contributes to climate change, contaminating soils and water bodies, threatening rural livelihoods, food and nutrition security. More than 800 million people are malnourished due to hunger and famine. Around 30% of the global adult population is suffering from obesity, while 1 million species are threatened with extinction. The need to produce food and sustain life are the most important challenges of the 21st century.
Agriculture is a source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison freshwater, marine ecosystems, air and soil. Many farming practices such as burning fields and using gasoline-powered machinery buildup greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. ‘National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism has reported that 10% of greenhouse gas emissions directly come from agriculture at the global and EU level. Farmers usually have to bear the consequences of unsustainable economies and lifestyles. They are the world’s poorest and most food-insecure people who are severely hit by climate change.
The great news is that millions of farmers around the world are leading the way to a more sustainable food future by using organic and other ecological farming methods. They use agroecological practices like intercropping, cover cropping and crop rotation.. According to farmers, their voices as farmers are not heard enough. They are happy to hear about the #IGrowYourFood campaign from IFOAM – Organics International which provides the farmer’s community with a global platform to speak and share their challenges concerning unsustainable food systems. #IGrowYourFood is a global action day that celebrates the people who sustainably grow and handle our food. Through this forum, the farmers aim to support the organic movement to increase sustainable food production across the world.
United in applauding farmers growing our food sustainably, the #IGrowYourFood action day held on the 25th September 2020 became a global celebration. Farmers, organizations, retailers, citizens, and many more joined from over 45 countries to directly share the importance of growing food sustainably and celebrating the farmers who do so.
It is a global action day initiated by IFOAM – Organics International. Founded in 1972, IFOAM – Organics International unites the organic movement in different countries and works to bring true sustainability to agriculture across the globe. IFOAM – Organics International is an umbrella organization for organic food and farming. For 20 years, they have been representing organic in policymaking and advocating for a transformation of food and farming. Their work is based on the principles of organic agriculture – health, ecology, fairness and care. The working span of IFOAM – Organics International is to uphold the principles of organic to support both human life and ecology, improving the conditions of farmers, laborers, and other marginalized groups.
IFOAM – Organics International amplifies farmers’ voices by sharing stories, videos, pictures, memes and articles across social media using the hashtags #IGrowYourFood and #LuvOrganic. The initiative behind celebrating this day is to connect with people who are growing organic food and are widely using agroecological practices. Through this platform, they invite farmers, processors, producers, exporters, traders and businesses to share their experiences through social media. This includes speaking about their challenges and suggesting radical solutions that help to preserve their livelihoods and nourish their communities. Having this proactive vision, IFOAM – Organics International globally promotes organic policies to support a change in sustainable food and agriculture systems.
Their mission is to achieve excellence and endurance in organic agriculture and commerce and grow the organic sector. The members act individually and collectively to nurture and protect the environment and wellbeing of the farmers. #IGrowYourFood helps members to work in collaboration. Their advocacy emphasizes creating a world where people can easily access healthy food grown using g organic farming practices.
Community of farmers and educators shared their opinions about #IGrowYourFood Mission
Just as the food we eat has no boundaries, the action day has brought endless significance to the organic farmers. According to Thales, an organic farmer working in Brazil, through this platform, they have been able to create powerful and productive ecosystems, for us and future generations.
Saskia von Diest, an organic advocate from South Africa states that choosing organic and agroecology is the kinder choice to protect the only earth that we have, for the future generations of all species, human and non-human. #IGrowYourFood initiative from IFOAM – Organics International has helped to strengthen this message.
Selina Nkoile is the founder of the Nashipai Maasai Project empowers Maasai girls through education and uses permaculture to promote biodiversity and tackle climate change. The #IGrowYourFood action day from IFOAM – Organics International provides spaces for the farmers to share their experiences.
For 19 years Rongyan Lu and her women’s group from Guangxi, China have been conserving 126 local varieties of important crops and medicinal plants. Through the # IGrowYourFood action day,IFOAM – Organics International highlights the importance of this work and how communitie are adopting organic farming. By having the support of farming communities, they can stand together in strengthening the work of the organic sector.
The farmers believe in farming with nature. Every handful of vibrant organic soil contains billions of microorganisms. These unseen creatures support plant and animal health including a range of techniques to support soil biology, build fertility and increase organic matter. Key practices include cover cropping, composting, crop rotation and grazing management.
IFOAM – Organics International’s solutions for a sustainable food future
· Organic farmers begin with a focus on creating healthy living soils. This builds the foundation for strong, naturally healthy plants and animals – and healthy food. Organic food has consistently been found to have higher levels of health-giving antioxidants. Organic milk also shows an optimal health profile when compared with non-organic milk.
· Farmers and investors are encouraged to increase small- and mid-scale food producers’ access to arable land, water, credit, and fair markets.
· Biodiversity is the foundation of a vibrant organic farm. Organicfarmers practice crop rotation that helps to maintain soil health. Rotation also prevents crop-specific pests and diseases from building up in one place.
· Healthy living soils are the foundation of a thriving organic system. Getting your soil health right will help your plants and animals become healthy and resilient which will help you move away from chemical fixes to pest and disease problems.
· Organic production benefits our ecosystems in several important ways. Organic farms protect the health of our waterways while contributing to biodiversity. Well-managed organic soils also store significant amounts of carbon, stabilizing our climate and keeping our planet habitable for generations to come.
Shaping the future of organic!
“Agroecology isn’t just a form of production where we regenerate the soil… we also care for relationships, gender equity, and a fair division of labour.”
The growing members of #IGrowYourFood aim to look forward to highlighting and celebrating all those who are working towards sustainably sourced products next year. From young organic farmers leading change in their communities in Kenya, Germany and USA enthusiastically joined the platform and shared the importance of growing food sustainably across the world. With the #IGrowYourFood action day everyone can join by posting videos and/or pictures with #IGrowYourFood, or by listening to and sharing interesting stories from organic and agroecological farmers as they talk about their work, the challenges they face and how we can support them!
Top Road Trip Destinations in Canada
Did you know that 1.93 million Americans traveled to Canada in 2020? That number was down year-over-year due to COVID-related travel restrictions.
While some Americans visit the Great White North via plane, others prefer road trips. It can be fun to plan an itinerary, book a hotel, pack the luggage, load your family into the car, and head to the border. But if a road trip to Canada is in the plans for you and yours this summer, what Canadian destinations are worth the potentially thousands of miles of driving? Keep reading to learn about the top road trip destinations in Canada.
Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan
Grasslands National Park is one of Canada’s 44 national parks and park reserves. Whether you’re an earlier bird or a night owl, the national park in Southern Saskatchewan provides an ideal prairie landscape. It’s the perfect place to unwind, immerse yourself in nature, and recalibrate your life.
Enjoy the great outdoors on a campsite, or take part in hiking adventures by exploring trails. The solitude and breathtaking beauty of this national park will leave you in awe. Make time for the Ecotour Scenic Drive. It’s about 20 km (around 12.5 miles) long and will take one to three hours to complete depending on your pace.
Toronto to Stratford, Ontario
If there’s one Canadian city most Americans have heard of, it’s Toronto. Toronto, the capital of Ontario, is the fourth largest city on the continent. It’s also home to the only authentic castle in North America. Casa Loma, located in midtown Toronto, is worth the visit. So, too, is the CN Tower, which is the biggest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. The city also has citizens representing 200+ ethnic groups.
While there’s plenty to see and do in Toronto, why stop there? It’s a good idea to include a Toronto-to-Stratford excursion while on your road trip to Canada. You must travel 150 km (about 93 miles ) west to get to Stratford. You’ll see Victorian architecture and get to take in the live theater. Most Americans probably haven’t heard of Stratford before. But when you come for a visit, there’s a good possibility you won’t ever forget it.
North Cape Coastal Drive, Prince Edward Island
If you haven’t ever taken a road trip to Prince Edward Island, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s Canada’s smallest province, but it sure offers a boatload of fun. Are you a foodie or do you like to indulge in the local cuisine when traveling? Check out the western peninsula. You can delight your tastebuds with the range of food available.
Make time to visit the Canadian Potato Museum in the province. After taking in the sites and attractions at the museum, enjoy a meal at the onsite PEI Potato Country Kitchen. The menu has items like the chili topped baked potato, which features a baked potato, homemade chili, and cheese. Meanwhile, the pulled pork potato features a baked potato topped with pulled pork, cheese, and sour cream on the side. That’s just a sampling, and all baked potato dishes are served with fresh-cut, homemade chips.
If you’re intersted in a U.S. to Canada road trip this year, the options above will give you some ideas. The sky’s the limit since there’s so much to see and do.
You’ll want to ensure your vehicle is in good working order to avoid breakdowns. You’ll also want to stay alert on the road since you’ll be traveling a lot of miles and spending hours behind the wheel of your car.
If you get into an accident, you must know what to do. In addition to reporting the accident, calling your insurer, and possibly even booking a rental car to complete your road trip, you’ll want to contact a personal injury lawyer if anyone is injured.
No one wants to consider accidents or injuries when on a road trip. But it’s best to hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. You’ll enjoy the journey and the destination a lot more when you’ve done everything possible to prepare for any possible issues.
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