Today, we are celebrating World Food Day to commemorate the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It is a chance to renew commitment and efforts to promoting sustainable and equitable agriculture in pursuit of ending hunger and feeding the world.

All around the world, governments and organizations have already taken huge strides toward achieving the very principles on which the FAO was founded. Governments on every continent have taken significant steps to change our food system for the better– making it healthier, more sustainable and more accessible to all. Nourishing the Planet has showcased 21 of the many recent policies and laws enacted by governments worldwide that are helping change the food system, promote sustainable agriculture and eradicate hunger. Check out these four, and the rest of the list at the Nourishing the Planet website.

  • Argentina made legislative efforts in 2011 to limit foreign land ownership and protect domestic farmers. This regulation, which restricts foreign investors to a 1,000-hectare limit, prevents the establishment of massive, foreign-owned industrial farms and helps to create a domestic community of land owners and farmers with Argentine needs and interests, rather than profits, in mind.
  • Beginning in 2011, the state government of Bihar in India made a major initiative to subsidize farmers practicing organic vegetable farming and to curtail rampant use of agrochemicals on vegetable farms. By providing a subsidy of up to 75% to farmers, the Bihar government hopes that organic farmers will be able to get higher prices for their products as well as provide consumers with healthier, local foods.
  • The Carbon Farming Initiative, passed by the Australian government in 2011, awards carbon credit to farmers who store carbon or reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their plots. This credit can then be sold to people and businesses wishing to offset their emissions, which rewards farmers who utilize techniques that minimize or absorb greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The USDA passed the Access to Pasture Rule in 2010, which contains clear and enforceable regulations concerning access to pasture for organic livestock. Mandating that livestock must be able to actively graze on a daily basis, the Access to Pasture Rule not only ensures that livestock operations are healthy and more sustainable, but holds organic livestock production to pasture-based rather than factory farming-based production standards.