This year is an exciting one for family farms all around the world! 2014 has been declared the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. The campaign is being run by the World Rural Forum, an organization which unites 80 groups working for more sustainable rural and agricultural development worldwide. It aims to celebrate the work of family farmers and encourage their support.
Family farms have a big role to play in reducing poverty and world hunger, and in ensuring sustainable rural development and food security.
But they're often not supported as they should be! Many farmers lack access to the proper tools, knowledge, and resources to farm sustainably in ways that benefit them and their communities. Astonishingly, half of those who go to bed hungry every night are farmers.
Food Tank and the Food and Agricultural Organization have put together a great video about the campaign. It highlights the diversity of family farms around the world, their crucial role in assuring food security, and the ways in which they can be better supported.
What about family farms in Newfoundland and Labrador? In the province, there are over 500 farms – and while there are no numbers on how many of those are family farms, about seventy-five percent of those are small farms (earning under $100 000 a year).
Some ways you can get to know and support the family farmers in your area – and enjoy their food! – are by:
Attending a local farmer's market: Fogo Island Farmers' Market (Saturdays, July-Fall, Central Fogo) Grand Falls-Windsor Farmer's Market Happy Valley Goose Bay's Community Outdoor Market Salmon Cove Community Farmer's Market Some Good Market (Makinson's) St. John's Farmer's Market Wonderful Fine Market (Corner Brook)
Visiting a farm or a farm-stand: the province's Farm Guide has listings for farms all across the province in the Avalon Region the BuyLocal!BuyFresh! map has listings for 28 farms around the Peninsula
For more information on the International Year of Family Farming and family farms around the world you can visit: www.familyfarmingcampaign.net.
 “Making the Case for Family Farming #IYFF (A Video by Food Tank & the FAO),” (2013) YouTube video, 3:36, Posted by Danielle Nierenberg, Accessed May 26, 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9hryUpy6_E>.  Statistics Canada, “2011 Farm and farm operator data,” Statistics Canada, Accessed June 13, 2014, <http://www29.statcan.gc.ca/ceag-web/eng/data-type-selection-type-donnees?geoId=100000000>.