Sunday, 30 June 2013

End climate change!

All over the world, more extreme and less predictable weather is having an impact on people’s ability to feed themselves. In 2012, poor harvests caused by droughts in Russia and the US set global grain
prices soaring, while an unusually wet UK summer pushed up vegetable prices in
our supermarkets. In sub-Saharan Africa, recurrent droughts have caused widespread hunger and wiped out the incomes and livelihoods of millions of farming communities. At the same time, rising sea levels due to warmer temperatures and melting ice are causing farmland to be contaminated by seawater in countries like Bangladesh. 
Meanwhile in Latin America, shrinking glaciers are posing a threat to water supplies and farming across the entire Andean region. Today, around 870 million people will go hungry – and climate
change is one of the reasons why.

Dealing with the effects of climate change in developing countries is vital, as it has a direct impact on food production. Developed countries have committed to deliver $100 billion by 2020 to help the developing world tackle and adapt to climate change, but meeting that target will be difficult. The UK Government must therefore take a lead in pushing for a global agreement on raising climate finances from new sources - in particular from a proposed tax on shipping fuels.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the livestock sector is currently “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. The FAO estimates that livestock production is responsible for up to 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organisations have estimated it could be as much as 51 per cent. World scientists on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agree that we need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 80 per cent by 2050 in order to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Support the fragile!

You can support farmers in developing countries by buying fairtrade products!

Buying fairtrade means that farmers get a fair price for their crops, allowing them to feed their own families.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Food not fuel!

Companies are also increasingly growing crops for fuel rather than food. This madness is driving up food and petrol prices.
If we end the use of crops for fuel, we can stop millions going hungry.

As part of the ongoing re-negotiation of EU biofuel legislation, the UK should lobby so that no biofuels grown on land that could have been used to grow food should count towards the EU's 10% renewable energy in transport target. The land required to grow crops in order to meet this target has led to a rising number of large-scale land grabs and an increase in food prices.
The UK should lobby the EU to recognise in law the true extent of damaging carbon emissions caused by biofuel production, as well as the impact that biofuels have on food prices and land rights.

Support fuel from waste, rather than fuel from food. Think before you buy!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Give life-saving aid!

Enough Food For Everyone IF we give life-saving aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves

Life-saving aid enables us to save and change the lives of children like 7-month-old Saamatou (pictured below) from Burkina Faso, west Africa. Aid helped make sure that she was treated for malnutrition before she suffered lasting damage.

Hold you government accountable for their aid budget. Make sure they give what they have promised!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Help establish food security!

You can help by making sure that you don't waste food. 

 In the UK, we throw away 15 million tonnes of food every year, almost half which comes from our own homes. Think how much food there would be for the starving of the world if we loved those leftovers!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Get rid of tax havens!

Tax havens affect us all! In the developed world big companies get away with paying tax, meaning less income for education, health, and welfare. But in developing countries it can really be life or death. In many countries school may be the only place children can get a balanced meal but, if there's not enough money for free schooling, many won't be able to attend. If they survive childhood, a lack of education will mean that they are stuck in the cycle of poverty. And then, will there be enough food for their children?

Petition your government to end tax havens now!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries!

Enough Food For Everyone IF governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so millions of people can free themselves from hunger.

Christian Aid estimates that developing countries are losing up to $160bn a year- more than the global aid budget- just through a form of tax dodging known as 'trade-pricing abuse'.

If big global companies stop avoiding the tax they owe in countries such as India, where one in three of the world’s malnourished children lives, then the money could be used to help feed children.
Governments must act to close the loopholes that allow these companies to get away with not paying what they owe.

When such tax schemes [that have an impact of developing countries] are identified, the UK should use its current powers to notify the tax authorities of developing countries and assist in the recovery of the money they’re owed

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Tell the G8 that we want agricultural investment!

Through its presidency of the G8 in 2013, the UK should put pressure on the rest of the G8 and other rich nations to put more life-saving aid into sustainable small-scale agriculture and nutrition, building upon the agreement made at the 2012 G8 summit.
The UK and other rich countries should take major steps towards contributing their fair share of the $21.3 billion required to fill the gap in agriculture funding, and to reach the $5 billion needed to pay for action on nutrition. This would collectively save more than 1 million lives every year.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Tell the G8 that we want budget transparancy!

The UK Government should promote greater participation by citizens in budget decision-making in G8 countries, with other nations encouraged to do the same. There should be a global agreement on publishing a full breakdown of all government income and spending in a way that’s understandable and accessible to the public.

Push for more transparency

Enough Food For Everyone IF the UK Government pushes for more transparency

Many governments and big companies keep secrets. They’d rather we didn’t know that the deals they make help keep the world’s poorest citizens in a cycle of hunger. It’s time for them to be held to account.
We need stronger laws that force governments and corporations to be open and honest in all their actions relating to the food system, and ensure that resources are used to help poor people.

The UK Government should improve corporate transparency, so that companies can be held to account by investors and the public for their actions in the food system. Under UK law, companies should be required to report on the full environmental, social and human rights impact of their business. The UK should also push for similar legislation in the EU.

Tell your MP that you want tax transparency
This affects us all! 

Tell the G8 that we need accountability!

I often hear the argument that we shouldn't give aid to countries that will just squander it. That we can't trust governments in many developing countries. But I say that instead of holding back aid we should do something about how governments act. Only then can we truly make sure that no-one dies from hunger.

The UK Government should support greater financial transparency from governments of developing countries, so that citizens in these countries can hold their governments to account for the money they spend.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Tell the G8 that we need tax transparency!

The UK should use its presidency of the G8 to launch a Convention on Tax Transparency. Under this Convention, countries would commit to preventing individuals and companies from hiding wealth so that it’s untraceable, tax havens would be required to share with developing countries any important information on hidden wealth and assets, and developing countries would receive assistance in recovering taxes due to them.

Join in the discussion on facebook

Tell the G8 that we need land transparency!

Enough food for everyone if we force governments companies to be honest about their land practices that stop people getting enough food.

Its hard to imagine living simply off what grew on our own land, or on money made by selling things grown with our own hands. But for millions of people in the developing world this is reality. Go on, imagine living like that. Look out into your garden (if you have one) and imagine that's your lively hood.
Now imagine that one day someone came along and took that away from you. They said they were going to grow their own crops on it. They sent you packing. Where would you go? What would you do? How would you feed yourself?

So, how can we change things?:
The World Bank should be pushed to review the impact of its funding of land acquisitions on communities and the environment, and to change its policies to ensure they prevent land grabs.

The UK Government should use its presidency of the G8 to push for greater transparency in land acquisitions, to ensure that corrupt deals are stopped and that people have the information they need to hold governments and companies to account.

Contact your government and let them know that you want things to change? 
Use the twitter hash-tags #G8 and and #BigIF to join in the debate. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Tell governments and big companies to be honest about their actions!

Enough Food For Everyone IF governments and big companies are honest about their actions that stop people getting enough food.

The UK Government should put the issue of large-scale corporate 'land grabs' in developing countries on the G8's agenda, and promote action to help improve their governance, transparency and accountability. There must be safeguards to ensure that the poorest people, who could often use this land to grow food, don't lose out as a result.

The UK Government should help ensure that developing countries can raise enough from taxes to tackle hunger and build a more secure food system by introducing a requirement in its Finance Bill for UK companies and wealthy individuals to report their use of tax schemes that have an impact on developing countries.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Stop poor farmers being forced off their land!

Enough Food For Everyone IF we stop poor farmers being forced off their land

You would have thought things would have changed but....
The poorest farmers are losing their land to big companies, leaving families unable to feed their children.
Stopping these land grabs would help millions of people get enough to eat.

We need to contact our government representative and tell them to do something!

In the poorest communities of India, 60 per cent of children under the age of five are malnourished. But Christian Aid partner Ekta Parishad estimates that land reform in India has the potential to lift 400 million people out of poverty.
'Do Not Tiptoe' Issue 3


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Enough Food For Everyone IF...

What is IF about?
Simply watch these videos to find out, and then stay tuned to this blog for more information.

Sign up and show your support now!

Monday, 10 June 2013


  • 868 million people do not have enough food to eat!
  • In sub-saharan Africa 1 in 4 people go to be hungry every night!

Stay tuned to find out what you can do to help!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Stop the Sugar Rush!

I recently received the following e-mail from the Fairtrade Foundation. I urge you to read what they have to say and then act on it!

Urgent call to action: Tell the EU to stop the sugar rush!

This month the EU is set to make a decision that will push many African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar cane farmers, their families and communities into poverty. We have just two weeks to influence their decision and we need your urgent help to do this!

Have you ever read something about European politics that you disagreed with? Something that you wanted to change, but didn’t know how?

Now’s your chance. The EU proposed changes to its agricultural policy which, if implemented too quickly or without additional support, could result in sugar producers in developing countries being priced out of the European market. Help us stop the sugar rush!
The proposed EU legislation will lift all restrictions on the production of EU subsidised and domestically produced beet sugar and other sugar products from big European businesses, which could push many farmers in poorer countries out of business. EU producers already receive subsidies for their sugar, but up until now there has been a limit on the amount of sugar that they can produce, which kept the door open for overseas producers. Because the new EU regime proposes keeping subsidies but dropping production restrictions, many producers from developing countries will find themselves priced out of the market – and out of a job. This would also affect Fairtrade producers who would find it harder to sell their sugar to the EU and would be unable to benefit from millions of pounds worth of poverty-busting Fairtrade Premium projects.

It’s not fair. So tell the EU that they must honour their commitments to farmers in developing countries and give them enough time and additional support to build up their industries to be more competitive, or invest in crop diversification. Send an email now to Paolo De Castro, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development at and call on him to represent the interests of these producers. You can write your own letter or download our email template and read more about this campaign on our website. Please copy into your email, so we can keep track of how many people take action.

Influencing European politics has never been easier, or more urgent. Together we can 
Make Food Fair!

The Campaigns Team

Fairtrade Foundation

Monday, 6 May 2013

Guilt-free clothing petition

If you were affected by the recent footage of a factory collapse in Bangladesh, please show your support for an enforceable fire and building safety agreement.

Avaaz's petition to the CEOs of H&M, Gap, and other fashion brands says:

As citizens and consumers, we urge you to immediately sign an enforceable Bangladesh fire and building safety agreement, or risk fatal damage to your brand image. The agreement must commit you to pay for routine, independent inspections and safety upgrades for your supplier factories. Your companies and other multinationals profit from cheap labour, and can do much more to reduce the dangers of the places where your products are made.

You can sign it here. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Which is worth more: saving a couple of pounds, or someone's life?

Obvious isn't it! 
And yet, millions of us could be ruining someone's life every time we decide to save a few pounds on a latest item of clothing.

This factory in Bangladesh produced clothes that were sent to Primark. They may be cheaper, but remember that this could be the result of buying them:

You will hear it the news report above that workers noticed cracks in the building fabric, but were ordered to keep on working. This is true exploitation, risking people's lives for profit. And yet, by buying from companies that use such labour we are condoning such exploitation.

So, what can we do about it?

Consider what you are buying!
Is it labelled fair trade? Do you know what the company does to make sure its workers are not exploited?

This is what Primark had to say about the factory collapse:
The company is shocked and deeply saddened by this appalling incident at Savar, near Dhaka, and expresses its condolences to all of those involved.
Primark confirms that one of its suppliers occupied the second floor of the eight storey building, which housed several suppliers to the garment industry making clothing for a number of brands.
Primark has been engaged for several years with NGOs and other retailers to review the Bangladeshi industry’s approach to factory standards. Primark will push for this review to also include building integrity.
Meanwhile Primark’s ethical trade team is at this moment working to collect information, assess which communities the workers come from, and to provide support where possible.

I don't know about you, but my first question is 'if they knew that Bangladesh's approach to factory standards was not right, then why didn't they either move elsewhere, or set up their own factories that they could police better?' We should encourage them with their push to include building integrity, but also ask how they expect factories to turn a profit whilst treating their workers fairly when Primark sells their products for so little.

Buy fairtrade!
I recently made the decision to no longer buy clothes that we not labelled fairtrade where possible. That's hard, you might say. Well, when it comes to t-shirts its not as hard as you might think!

Yesterday I was browsing my local Sainsbury's store and was pleasantly surprised that they were selling tops made out of fairtrade cotton. I ended up buying two basic stripy tops: a 100% fairtrade cotton one for £5, and a 50% fairtrade cotton with other materials for £8.

For those of you who are more fashion conscious (and who have a little more money) its also possible to buy some lovely fairtrade tops from ethical shops. For instance, I saw a lovely linen top in Just Trading of Wallingford for only £20 the other week. And Ethical Superstore is currently selling fairtrade tops starting at only £16 (they also sell 88 fairtrade fashion items from gloves and necklaces to trousers).

Campaign for better working standards!
I am intending to write to clothing companies that I would like to buy from, asking them how they ensure that their workers are not exploited, and asking them to consider stocking (or stocking more) fairtrade products. I will keep you updated on what I find out. If you are doing the same, or something similar, then do feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Where do you buy your clothing?
Have you considered fairtrade options?

Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Easter Story

Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
Luke 19: 32-34
 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
Luke 19:35

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.
Luke 19:37

When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be a house of prayer’
Luke 19:45-46

After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
   And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke 22:17-19

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Luke 22:41-42

At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
Luke 22:66-67

 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”
Luke 23:1-2

 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
Luke 23:23-25

 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26

 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
Luke 23:33

 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
   But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
   Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
   Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.
Luke 23:39-43

 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 44-46

 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.
Luke 24:5-8

Bible passages taken from NIV

illustrated with pictures of Abingdon Passon Play taken by Andy Teo
@Photocillin or

Monday, 21 January 2013

Messy Church: Jesus Calms The Storm

Join us at All Saints Church, Abingdon, this Saturday for a range of family-based activities. Starting at 10.30, the morning will also include a meal and a short all-age service. And when the morning ends, you caan take home a free book to help remember the session.

We'd love to see you there!

Have you been before? We'd love to heear about your experiences.