Phil Bloomer on the private sector's duty to help farmers

The private sector must join the global aid community in helping smallholder farmers become more resilient against natural disasters and other crises, says Oxfam chief campaigner.

Phil Bloomer, the director of campaigns and policy at Oxfam GB, spoke with Devex Editor Rolf Rosenkranz on the fringes of the 2012 European Development Days. 

Bloomer called for major investment in small farmers to feed the poorest 2 billion people in the next 20 years and help them adapt to climate change. He lauded the work of  companies like Starbucks, which in Ethiopia is helping coffee farmers to get to higher altitudes to avoid the heat stress that has been affecting crop quality.

“Compare and contrast that with a number of large supermarkets in Europe who are essentially going around grazing the planet. If the rains are falling over here, this is where we’ll go and get our crops and when they don’t fall there, we’ll go somewhere else,” he told Rosenkranz. “All the risk of climate change is being passed down to those very vulnerable people, instead of building their resilience and their adaptation.”

Watch the conversation between Rosenkranz and Bloomer on the drivers of the current food price spikes and ways to mitigate the situation, part of a series of conversations we video-taped with global development leaders in the center of the action at last week’s EDD.

Check out our complete coverage of European Development Days 2012.

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