Waitrose CEO Mark Price waded into the horsemeat saga last weekend by saying that in return for families knowing food is safe and genuine, it cannot be seen as a “cheap commodity” any longer.

He is right. For too long, the price of food has been driven down so that consumers now accept and expect cheap food, putting price above nutritional value, freshness, quality or ‘fairness’ to the producer at the bottom of the supply chain.

Slowly but surely we are all waking up to the fact that our global food system is dangerously out of control - for consumers, farmers and in the way food is traded and distributed.

This Monday is the start of Fairtrade Fortnight and also marks the launch of a new report reminding us that half of the world’s hungriest people are themselves smallholder farmers. The fact that so many hungry people are food producers shows just how unbalanced our global food system has become.

The good news is that major new private sector sustainability initiatives are seeking to increase the number of smallholders in their supply chains. I recently visited two exciting tea projects in Kenya. Finlays Beverages, DFID and The Co-op Group have been working with the Fintea Growers Co-operative Union, which has a 15,000-strong membership to develop its business and work on diversification in other crops.

This Fairtrade Fortnight, 50% of leaves in The Co-operative’s new 99 Tea Gold will come from Fintea. Similarly, with the support of DFID, Marks & Spencer worked with their tea supplier Iria-ini to add value to their tea by packing at source, so they can supply international retailers and their home market.

On Tuesday, the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill will receive its final reading in the Commons. If approved, the Adjudicator will watch over retailers to ensure they deal fairly with suppliers, including farmers and smallholders. But we must do our bit to build more traceable and equitable supply chains. This will require a shift from ‘cheap food’. We need to put the politics of food on the public agenda and find better solutions to the insanity of our broken food system.

Michael Gidney is CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation