Holly Hight from Bread for the World is speaking about fair trade.
Less than 1% of Americans farm, she tells us, but the majority of the people in the world must farm for a living. Most of these farmers are not are not being supported by their governments. The U.S. on the other hand, heavily subsidizes five crops: soy beans, cotton corn and rice. The US spends 6x as much on farm subsitdies than on foreign aid.
When countries like the US supplement our farmers, we create a huge dissadvantage to farmers in developing countries. When you have too much of something, the price goes down, that’s ecomonics 101. When the US floods foreign markets, farmers in foreign countries get less for their crops and their income drops.
She told us that the average farmer in an African country makes roughly $200 a year in profit. They must use this money to pay for everything: food, shelter, medication, education.
Every 5 years, the US reauthorizes the US Farm Bill. This is our chance to get involved and change how our farming policy works. Holly encouraged everyone in Colorado to write a letter to their member of Congress. Holly gave out a handout on this, which you can access here.
The farm bill isnt just about farming here in the US. It’s about poverty abroad. Before giving up the stage, Holly shared a favorite quote. Muhammed Yunis: “My goal is for my grandchildren to have to go to a museum to see what poverty once was.”
Check back to the ONE Blog for our video tape of Holly’s full presentation.