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The critical role played by small family farmers not just in the UK but around the world doesn’t really need spelling out to SRA Members. But their place in the future of food provision for a growing global population does need highlighting more widely. And here’s a chance for you to help.

We Feed the World, an international campaign featuring the work of some of the best photographers in the world, to raise awareness of the work of small, family farmers in feeding 70 percent of the world’s population is looking for support from SRA Members.

SRA Members pledging support

Member restaurants, Yeo Valley, River Cottage, and Wahaca have already pledged their support for the campaign, donating five meals each to the campaign’s fundraising appeal, which is currently running on Crowdfunder.

They have been joined by other sustainable brands, Pukka Herbs, Viridian, Organico and Conscious Chocolate who have donated products to be offered as “rewards” for pledges on the site.While championing the cause of the small family farmer, the campaign also challenges the myth that we need a corporate led, high tech approach to our future food supply.

It has brought together some of the world’s best photographers including Rankin (who took this photograph), Sebastaio Salgado and Magnum members, Alec Soth, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Jim Goldberg to take portraits of farmers around the world.

The images will form the basis on an exhibition, which will open in London in September 2016, and then tour six regional cities including Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool and Glasgow. It will be accompanied by a high quality photographic book that gives further details of the farmers’ lives and the issues they face.

“We wanted to create an exhibition that could reach out to a mainstream audience and connect them to the stories behind their food. So many people believe our only choice for the future is an industrialised food system when small, family farmers are already doing a great job of feeding the majority of the world’s population,” says the Project Director, Francesca Price.

“We’re delighted that so many sustainable brands have wanted to support the campaign, either by donating to the appeal or by gifting us meals and products. We hope to be able to bring many more on board and work with them to publicise the exhibition and the cause. The aim of the campaign is to engage a large, mainstream audience in the future of their food and the best way to do this is by working with the people who are serving and producing that food”.

Calf on camera

The first of the campaign’s shoots kicked off last week at the studios of fashion photographer, Rankin. Five farmers including Yeo Valley’s Tim and Mary Mead travelled to London, with an award-winning calf in tow, to have their portrait taken. Other farmers’ portraits will be taken on location at farms around the world.

Exhibition curator and ex-editor of the Daily Telegraph Magazine, Cheryl Newman, believes photography is the perfect medium to reach out to new audiences. “I’m always astounded by its power for change and advocacy, how it can excite or scare you and make you question the way you look at things. This is the first time such an extraordinary group of photographers have come together behind a single cause and it gives us enormous potential to reach out to a wide audience and empower them to engage with the future of their food system and their environment.”

For more details about how you can be involved contact Francesca Price francesca.price@mac.com