by Theo de Jager, President, World Farmers’ Organisation
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to our totally revamped WFO magazine.
The World Farmers’ Organisation has come a long way since its launch in 2010. We have grown into the biggest farmers led organisation in the world, representing farmers of all sizes, all regions, all sectors, under the umbrella of an undeniable vital principle: sustainability. Our mandate is clear: bringing the farmers’ voice to the table of any global process that is affecting the life of family farmers on the field back home in their countries.
These are times of great challenges and great concerns. The recent outbreak of Covid19 is putting our families, communities, countries, economies under unprecedented pressure. We, the farmers, are standing strong in the middle of this storm: we are not locking down our farms, because our activity is so much more than a business! We feel the responsibility of feeding the world. We have always felt this on our shoulders but I am confident that today all the people living in the big cities, all the governments dealing with food supplies, all the institutions called to implement the global agenda for sustainable development will realize that agriculture represents the backbone of our societies, an engine that allows the complexity of our social and economic systems to deploy their potential and a tremendous opportunity for sustainable wealth creation.
The F@rmLetter we are launching today would like to offer the world a picture of this central role of the farmers in the global discussions and an opportunity to create bridges with all other actors of the economy and the society that are working hard every day to find solutions to complex issues like the Agenda 2030 with its Sustainable Development Goals, the Climate Change Agenda, the digital transformation, just to name a few.
Farmers are key for a successful overcome of all these challenges. That is why we are promoting a “farmers’ route” to them. But as farmers, we are also deeply aware of the fact that only joining hands with all other actors in the value chain, with all players of the food systems and civil society and academia and international organizations, we will be able to win. We are in this together and together we will overcome any obstacle. That is why the F@rmLetter is giving voice to all of them.
I wish you a good time reading our on-line magazine and I invite you to share it with your network, to make the farmers’ voice grow strong and to build together a better future for all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Theo de Jager is the President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) since June 2017 and former President of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU, 2013-2018) and the Pan African Farmers Union (PAFO, 2014-2017).
He has farmed in South Africa since 1997 (in the South African Lowveld region) with timber and subtropical fruits (avocados, mangoes and macadamia nuts).