Influential Women in Food and Agriculture

Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the invaluable contributions of women in food agriculture and fisheries, who play a crucial role in feeding the world and sustaining food systems.

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), women represent 43 percent of the world’s agricultural labour force and 47 percent of the global fisheries labour force.

Despite being less than half of the labour force, these hard-working women produce more than half of the world’s food. In developing countries, women account for 60 to 80 percent of food production.

However, women farmers often face significant challenges, including limited access to resources and inputs compared to their male counterparts.

This differential access contributes to a crop yield gap of about 20-30 percent between male and female farmers.

As we celebrate the achievements of women in food, agriculture and fisheries, it is essential to recognize the need for greater gender equality and empowerment in the sector.

By addressing barriers to access and providing support for women farmers and fisherfolk, we can enhance food security, promote sustainable agriculture, and achieve greater equity in our food systems.

Let us continue to honour and support the countless women who are the backbone of our food systems, working tirelessly to nourish communities and drive positive change.

Happy International Women’s Day to all the inspiring women shaping the future of food!

Today, we recognize and celebrate the remarkable contributions of women in the field of food and agriculture.

From farming to policy-making, these women have made significant impacts in shaping the way we grow, produce, and consume food.

Here is a list of inspiring women in food and agriculture:

  1. Allison Aubrey: NPR correspondent nominated for her coverage of food and nutrition.
  2. Alison Cayne: Founder of Haven’s Kitchen, dedicated to education and sustainability.
  3. Debra Eschmeyer: Co-founder of FoodCorps, promoting healthier eating in schools.
  4. Betsy Fink: Co-founder of Millstone Farm, supporting community-based food systems.
  5. Severine Von Tscharner Fleming: Founder of The Greenhorns, advocating for young farmers.
  6. Catherine Gill: Senior VP at Root Capital, supporting gender-inclusive businesses in agriculture.
  7. Elise Golan: Director of Sustainable Development at the USDA, leading programs on sustainable agriculture.
  8. Brenda Hastings: Co-founder of Hastings Dairy, advocating for women in dairy farming.
  9. Diane Hatz: Founder of Change Food, raising awareness of food system issues.
  10. Tengiwe Cristina Kaba: Executive Director of Abalimi, promoting urban gardening in South Africa.
  11. Dinnah Kapiza: Founder and CEO of Tisaiwale Trading, supporting small-scale farmers in Malawi.
  12. Monica Lozano Luque: Founder of Sea Soil, promoting environmentally sustainable strategies.
  13. Dr. Rekha Mehra: Senior associate at Creative’s Cross Functional Group, focusing on gender development.
  14. Michele Merkel: Co-director of Food and Water Justice Project, advocating for transparency in factory farming.
  15. Kathleen Merrigan: Executive Director of Sustainability at George Washington University, leading initiatives in food and agriculture.
  16. Dr. Roz Naylor: Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, researching food security issues.
  17. Lustia Nkhoma: Anchor Farm Project field officer in Malawi, supporting smallholder farmers.
  18. Denise O’Brien: Founder of Women, Food, and Agriculture Network, advocating for women in agriculture.
  19. Courtney Paisley: Director of Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, engaging young professionals in agricultural development.
  20. Chellie Pingree: U.S. House of Representatives member, championing local food and farms.
  21. Simran Sethi: Journalist and educator focused on food sustainability and social change.
  22. Charlotte Smith: Founder of Champoeg Creamery and Charlotte Smith Pastured Meats, advocating for quality food.
  23. Stefanie Sacks: Culinary nutritionist and author promoting healthier eating habits.
  24. Susana Chaves Villalobos: Agricultural engineer in Costa Rica, supporting small-scale farmers.
  25. Karen Washington: Farmer and community activist, co-founder of Black Urban Growers.

These women are pioneers, leaders, and change-makers in the food and agriculture industry, inspiring us all to create a more sustainable and equitable food system.

In the same vein, highlighting the Rising Stars: Women Shaping the Future of Food and Agriculture in an era where sustainability, innovation, and inclusivity are at the forefront of discussions surrounding food and agriculture, it is important to showcase this new generation of women emerging as leaders and change-makers in the industry.

Here are 30 remarkable young women who are reshaping food systems around the world:

  1. Lauren Abda (@laurenabda): Managing Director of Food Loft, Boston, connecting food entrepreneurs.
  2. Karen Albuja: Co-founder of Granja El Hormiguero, Ecuador, promoting biodynamic products.
  3. Elizabeth Alpern (@gefilteria): Co-founder of Gefilteria, creating sustainable gefilte fish products.
  4. Leanne Brown (@leelb): Author of “Good and Cheap,” providing free recipes for limited-income individuals.
  5. Cheyenne, Camaryn, and Trae Candelario (@youngfemalefarm): Family farmers from Georgia, promoting local produce.
  6. Julie Carney (@_JulieCarney): Co-founder of Gardens for Health International, fighting malnutrition in Rwanda.
  7. Estella Cisneros: Providing legal representation for immigrant farmworkers in California.
  8. Kat Cook (@FMKcatering): Chef-Owner of Farmer’s Market Kitchen, promoting local produce.
  9. Claire Cummings (@WasteAce): Waste Specialist for Bon Appétit Management Company, reducing food waste.
  10. Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang (@SixFoods): Co-founders of Six Foods, advocating for insect protein.
  11. Sasha Fisher (@sashadfisher): Co-founder of Spark MicroGrants, supporting community-led development.
  12. Lauren Howe (@lauhowe): National School Garden Program Manager at Slow Food USA, promoting school gardens.
  13. Smriti Keshari (@Keshari) (@FoodChainsFilm): Producer of Food Chains, raising awareness about farmworkers’ rights.
  14. Rachel Khong (@rachelkhong): Senior Editor of Lucky Peach, promoting food writing and culture.
  15. Kate Klein (@kateklein23) (@realfoodnow): Development Coordinator for Georgia Organics, organizing for food justice.
  16. Annie Liang: Junior Ambassador to the Milan Protocol, advocating for sustainable food systems.
  17. Lesley Silverthorn Marincola (@angazadesign): Founder and CEO of Angaza Design, providing clean energy solutions in Africa.
  18. Nikiko Masumoto (@nmasumoto): Organic farmer and author, sharing stories from the Masumoto Family Farm.
  19. Lucy McKormick (@LucyMcCormick91): Response Analyst for the Guardian, engaging young people in environmental campaigns.
  20. Kelly Pagliario: Permaculturist, promoting sustainable living practices.
  21. Debbie Lohan Palacios: Business Owner, producing organic sauce from hot peppers in Costa Rica.
  22. Anauim Valerín Pérez (@Anauim_Valerin): Youth journalist and agri-environmental activist, advocating for rural communities.
  23. Leidy Dayana Riveras Rivas: Coordinator for Quality Certification for ASPOECAM, supporting small coffee farmers in Colombia.
  24. Diana Robinson (@Ddee1985): Campaign and Education Coordinator of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, advocating for workers’ rights.
  25. Sandra Guadalupe Sandoval Orellana: Fishery Manager, empowering rural communities in El Salvador.
  26. Yasmin Belo-Osagie: Co-founder of She Leads Africa, supporting female entrepreneurs in Africa.
  27. Kavita Shukla (@KavitaFresh): Co-founder of Fenugreen, fighting food waste with innovative products.
  28. Trang Tran (@Fargreenvn): Co-founder and CEO of Fargreen, promoting sustainable agriculture in Vietnam.
  29. Emma Watson (@EmWatson): Actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for gender equality and education.
  30. Koya Webb: Author, empowering individuals to live healthier lives.

These young women represent a diverse array of talents, passions, and initiatives aimed at creating a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food system for the future.

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