Meeting Nick Clegg, dressed as a banana
Sarah Watson Campaign Project Manager
27th Jun 2012
Guest post by Oxfam campaigner Jill:
Last week I was dressed as a banana, this week I'm handing in a petition to Nick Clegg asking him to join 'Team Betty'
Monday May Bank Holiday I spent 3 hours dressed as a banana, I was many Oxfam volunteers on tour with Coldplay across the country asking Coldplay fans to sign a petition; the latest action from the GROW campaign - to ask Nick Clegg to champion small scale farmers at the upcoming Rio +20 summit.
Little over a week later I was one of 3 Oxfam campaigners and 3 Co-op members handing the petition with over 17500 signatures gathered from Oxfam supporters (and Coldplay fans) and Co-operative members and shoppers are calling on the UK government to champion small scale farmers.
Small scale farmers feed around a 1/3 of the world's population and many of them are women, we're asking that these farmers are supported, and enabled to grow their farming by forming co-operatives, sharing best practice and pooling their resources, as a co-operative they have a voice to secure fair prices for their produce. By supporting small scale farmers farming can become fairer and sustainable, more food can be produced and no-one should go to sleep hungry!
It was a brilliant opportunity to see how one campaigning action leads to another action - that the people who signed the petition and had their photos taken with a 5ft banana do get heard by people in power who can really make a difference.
The petition was presented in the form of a mosaic made from fair-trade seeds, nuts and muesli bars calling on Nick Clegg and the UK Government to join 'Team Betty' and champion small scale farmers. After the photograph we had the opportunity to speak with the Deputy Prime Minister, his aides and Caroline Spelman MP Secretary of State, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who was very supportive and accepted a 'System Fixer' GROW badge.
I'll be watching the progress of the RIO +20 summit to see what the results of our campaigning will be.