On 13, 14 & 15 January, as every year, more than 8,000 volunteers will take to the streets of Belgium and sell a small gadgets to collect money for Vredeseilanden/VECO. But there is more. They take to the streets with this message:
OOPS! We’re almost out of farmers.
Farmer populations are ageing rapidly. Worldwide, the average age of farmers is about 60 and many amongst them are women and poorly educated. Few rural youth see a future for themselves in agriculture.
Climate change, high investments and risks, low revenues, ... All these factors contribute to the fact that farming has become unattractive. Whether these farmers live in Senegal, Vietnam or Belgium.
VECO takes up the challenge to save our 'foodture'. We empower farmers to become solid business partners for companies. We connect farmers with innovators in the food industry, to explore new ways of doing business and to inspire a sector wide change. We develop mechanisms of trust and transparency throughout the value chain.
An example of how we go about this, is the story of the farmer families of Trac Van. They pioneered in The Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) system, a system that guarantees safe and organic vegetables for Vietnamese consumers while improving farmers' income and natural environment.
The film ‘Feeding Hanoi’ tells their story: