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International Education

JAM Solidaire 2012

Food Justice

by Florence Tiffou

Food Justice, or should I say Food Injustice, is a huge issue. Often when we hear about problems related to food it’s because there’s been a disaster. Terrible droughts occur and suddenly the media alerts the population that it is time to TAKE ACTION! What stroke me this week-end, when I went to the Jam Solidaire, organized by Oxfam Quebec, is that there are individuals lacking food every day, not only in these disaster situations. Did you know that we produce enough food for 9 billion individuals, but that 15% of the world’s population does not eat enough? That in some countries, such as Haiti, Mozambique and the Sierra Leone, more than half the population is starving? How come, if we have the resources, such situations exist?

The Jam Solidaire is organized by Oxfam Quebec in order to inform the youth on international cooperation and global issues. During a whole day activities are planned on different subjects. This year, three panelists came to talk about food justice. Rodolphe de Konink, Rafaël Yimga Tatchi and Valérian Mazataud expressed their view on the issue and suggested solutions to reduce food injustice. Some of the solutions suggested involved education. The global population needs to understand these food issues in order to solve them and consume more consciously. The education on fair trade and buying local is a start! Through this education a greater number of individuals will be able to put pressure on governments. There is a need to stop privatization. Pressure also needs to be put on the media in order to ensure the balance of the information published. These multiple actions and a shift in our system would enable other countries to stop being dependent organizations, such as Oxfam.

The rest of the day was spent discussing different ways in which international cooperation is useful. Being able to meet other students who are involved in their communities was very inspiring and motivating.

Continuing to take action during disastrous situation is great! Taking action to inform the population and to stop food injustice globally is a slower process, but that ensures sustainable progress.

I would like to thank the International Education Office for offering Mark Gibbon and I the chance to assist to this Jam Solidaire. The experience was very rich and will enable us to communicate our knowledge with Vanier College students.