Today, Hans Herren, president of the Biovision Foundation and Millennium Institute and a member of Food Tank’s advisory board, was the first Swiss citizen to win the Right Livelihood Award. The prize commemorates Herren’s long career of striving for a more environmentally sustainable food system.
The Biovision Foundation, which Herren founded in 1998, has worked to alleviate hunger and poverty across the world through providing education and information to smallholder farmers. The Millennium Institute supports international policy reform in developing countries.
Throughout his career, Herren has advocated heavily for scaling up small-scale farming in lieu of industrial agriculture:
“[Feeding the global population] has to happen without overstepping planetary boundaries. This is only possible, if we invest in smallholder structures with sustainable and efficient ecological cultivation methods and move away from the paradigm of industrial agriculture which overuses natural resources and destroys biodiversity.”
In 1995, Herren was awarded the World Food Prize for his work in eradicating a harmful cassava pest that was decimating crops in Africa.
This recognition of Herren’s lifetime of researching and developing environmentally viable solutions to global hunger is a step forward toward a more sustainable food system.
Herren will continue his work by participating in the development of the United Nations’ post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on reforming global agriculture.