Pope Francis on volatile food pricing as one of global threats
The Head of the Catholic Church spoke about the challenges concerning food security at the 39th Session of the FAO Conference. It is worthwhile to discuss the contents of his speech, as it concerned agricultural manufacturers and global food security problems.
Addressing the representatives of over 120 countries, the Holy Father Pope Francis chose to focus on three main topics: reducing the quantity of food which is wasted, fostering international cooperation for ensuring food security and stabilizing market prices of foodstuffs.
Wasting food makes it difficult to reduce hunger
The Pope stressed the fact that the statistics on waste were very worrying. According to the most recent data, as much as ⅓ of the food produced goes to waste. In an average European household, as much as 20-30% of the food which has been purchased will not be consumed, although ⅔ of the food which is discarded is still safe to eat.
Pope Francis suggested promoting a makeover of our lifestyles. In his opinion, small, everyday gestures could pave the way to a better tomorrow for the human family. He also called for shaping the social awareness regarding the rational use of food.
We need to act in solidarity
The speaker then moved on to the need for joint efforts to fulfill FAO mission. In the Pope’s opinion “If all Member States work for one another, consensus for action by FAO will not be long in arriving; and FAO’s original role will be rediscovered”. In this way, he referred to the Latin phrase visible on FAO logo, namely “Fiat panis” (“Let there be bread”).
Pope Francis believes that further decentralization of structures and the presence of FAO in rural areas is the only way to understand the needs of the inhabitants of the planet and increase the role of the organization in service on all continents.
Rising food prices
Referring to FAO research, the Pope said that food prices had fluctuated sharply, and they were expected to rise in the future. He also remarked that there were many reasons for this situation, and the upward trend in food pricing resulted partly from global climate change.
According to FAO documents, global warming may make food less accessible and disrupt the stability of food production. Agriculture in the world needs to undergo a fundamental transformation process, so as to cope with the present challenges.
“What can we do? What are we doing already?”
Pope Francis thinks that it is necessary for Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to strengthen cooperation between its bodies and to educate the society about the challenges for the national governments that are responsible for shaping good eating habits.
The task for the farmers is to use modern technology and the best products, ensuring crop stability and quality, which has a direct impact on access to food globally. The Pope concluded his presentation by declaring that the Church, aware of the present threats, supported FAO in the Organization’s efforts to improve food security.