As the global population swells beyond 7 billion, the question becomes: how will we feed a growing population?
And more importantly: how will we produce it? As our global appetite for convenience outpaces traditional methods of agriculture, our system of food production and distribution has evolved into a complex juggernaut of international trade, politics, and pesticides. In response, those who champion sustainable and regenerative practices may hold the key to our future.
Food is not cheap if you include the subsidies and true cost to the environment and the people.
Goldman Prize Winners awarded for Food & Agriculture
Leydy Pech, an indigenous Mayan beekeeper, led a coalition that successfully halted Monsanto’s planting of genetically modified soybeans in southern Mexico. The Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the government violated the Mayans’ constitutional rights and suspended the planting of genetically modified soybeans. Because of the persistence of Pech and her coalition, in September 2017, Mexico’s Food and Agricultural Service revoked Monsanto’s permit to grow genetically modified soybeans in seven states.
A mother whose infant died as a result of pesticide poisoning, Sofía Gatica organized local women to stop indiscriminate spraying of toxic agrochemicals in neighboring soy fields.
Family farmer and activist Lynn Henning exposed the egregious polluting practices of livestock factory farms in rural Michigan, gaining the attention of the federal EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations.
Humberto Ríos Labrada, a scientist and biodiversity researcher, worked with farmers to increase crop diversity and develop low-input agricultural systems, encouraging Cuba’s shift from agricultural chemical dependence toward sustainability.
In Oaxaca, where unsustainable land-use practices have made it one of the world’s most highly-eroded areas, Jesús León Santos led a land renewal program that employs ancient indigenous practices to transform depleted soil into arable land.
In Haiti, a land devastated by deforestation, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste taught his fellow peasant farmers the principles of sustainable agriculture, drip irrigation, and erosion prevention techniques.
Partners in Food & Agriculture
The Goldman Prize is honored to partner with a variety of environmental organizations around the world, each of them united in the goal of protecting our planet. From our nominating partners to global organizations to grassroots NGOs led by Prize winners, they are all essential parts of the environmental community.