Take a look around you. From the toast you had for breakfast to the cotton t-shirt you’re wearing, or the dried fruits you’re munching on as you read this article, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that started out at a farm, at the hands of a few farmers. These products have reached you only because someone has painstakingly tended to a seed as it grew into a crop and harvested it, a million times over. That someone is a farmer.
Farming is one of the primary occupations on the planet, especially in rural communities and in underdeveloped and developing nations. For instance, nearly 70% of Tanzania’s population is engaged in farming. The irony is that these farmers, who are so crucial to us, are often left grappling with lack of basic resources, preventing them from getting the most out of their land and thier lives.
Reality for these farmers is a far cry from the swanky harvesting machines and automated processes we watch on television. Most farmers work on small pockets of land, not larger than a couple of acres. They grapple with poverty and a lack of basic amenities, even as they grow crops and tend to livestock that fuel a substantial chunk of the global economy.
What our farmers need more than ever, is to be considered an important part of the supply system. Manufacturers who benefit from these farmers’ labour must ensure they give back, and pass on the gains to the farming community. Here at Wild Plains Foods, we make sure that our farmers are taken care of, with the inclusive policies driven by our impact focus, and most importantly, a fair pricing system.
We hold regular training programs for the local farmer communities, on sustainable and efficient farming methods which not only help increase yields but also ensure that best practices are followed at the farms from where we source produce.
As consumers, we wield a great deal of power through our purchases. In one way or another, most of us already apply ethical parameters to our daily life choices and actions.
Now we can consciously contribute towards the well-being of these farmers by making ourselves more aware about the sourcing and manufacturing habits practiced by our regular brands. Let us make a mental note to seek more information about the things we buy, and pledge to use our discretion in making that purchase.
Farmers have contributed hugely to our well-being; it’s time we return the favour.