Food Sovereignty and Trade

Citizens and consumers are changing says Hanny van Geel at ISS Conference

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-02-08-Hanny_ISS.jpgBelow is the speech delivered by Hanny van Geel at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) colloquium on Global governance/politics, climate justice & agrarian/social justice: linkages and challenges. 4-5 February 2016, The Hague, Netherlands

I am rooted in farming, until 5 years ago I have spent all my life on a farm. My parents had a mixed farm. With my husband we had an organic farm with vegetables.

My first political act was in 1974 writing protest slogans on old bedsheets and paper that we attached to my father’s tractor. He and his colleagues were going to block the roads the next day. It was on the national news and in the newspapers. 30,000 farmers were in the streets for protest.

My father and the other farmers were in protest for the lowering of the price of wheat. In that period new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was going to be adapted and the fixed prices and import protection were going to be lowered. At that time the wheat price was €0.25/kg.

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S. Korea should stop sacrificing agriculture says Namki baek’s daughter at ISS conference, The Hague

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-02-08_ISS_baek_presentation.jpgFebruary 5, 2016: The Hague, Netherlands 

In solidarity, LVC delegates invited Minjuhwa Baek to speak about her father and the South Korean situation at the just ended International Institute of Social studies (ISS) Global Governance Seminar (February 4 and 5) at The Hague. Below is her presentation.

My father has fought for farmers' rights as a member of the Korean Catholic Farmers' movement since 1986.

Last year on November 14th he attended the demonstration in Seoul, South Korea to demand the government to raise the rice price as president had promised during the president's election pledge.

Last year, the rice price fell to the same level as 20 years ago.

Government has sacrificed agriculture for joining international treaty like TPP (trans-pacific strategic Economic Partnership) or making free trade agreements with other countries. That's why rice price is falling down and farmers in South Korea are in critical danger.

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La Via Campesina, Building an International Movement for Food and Seed Sovereignty

2016-02-03-Elizabeth Mpofu.jpgAn Interview with General Coordinator Elizabeth Mpofu [1]

February 2, 2016 

By Simone Adler (Other Worlds)

Who we are fighting for is every single peasant farmer – more than 200 million – on the planet. People are eager to join hands in building a global voice.

Transnational corporations are pushing policies in African countries for industrial farming and the use of GMO [genetically modified] seeds, while grabbing our land and [stealing] our natural resources.  No one should come and tell us how to produce food. 

In Via Campesina, we believe in controlling our land and seeds and producing the healthy food that we want, the way we want. Our response is to fight for food sovereignty against these transnational corporations that are connected to the [New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition of the] G8, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the World Trade Organization, and free trade agreements that don’t recognize the needs of peasants or the poor.

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UAWC distributes 315 palm seedlings to Jordan Valley farmers

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-01-06-UAWC_trees.jpg(Ramallah, January 2016)- the Union of Agricultural Work Committees distributed palm seedlings for farmers in Zubaydat village in Jericho and Jordan Valley governorate within " Struggle for land: Defense of Palestinian Land Rights in the Jordan Valley" project, which is funded by the Medico International Foundation.

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Thousands protest in Seoul against the government policies

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-11-25-Korean_struggle.jpg(Seoul, November 24, 2015) The Korean peasant movement organised and mobilised a big protest on the 14th November. Over 30,000 peasants were among the 130,000 people gathered in central Seoul to protest against rice imports among other issues and called for the resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. 

The police used water cannons against the protesters. They also used barricades to stop the protesters. Many people were hurt, some arrested. The attack with the water cannons left a peasant brain dead. Because of this people did a vigil and lit candles. 
The Korean peasant movement is planning one more struggle 5th December. 

A chance for the EU to amend bad policies in the milk sector

logo-eurovia.pngNovember 18,  2015

 Dear Ministers,

As the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the EU is set to meet this November 16 in Brussels, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) would like to, once more, bring to your attention, our deep concern over the situation of the European dairy sector in this serious and unprecedented crisis which will destroy the economy in many rural areas. Among other things, this is caused by a loosening of market regulations, of which the removal of EU milk quotas stands out.

After the new measures package was released by the Council and the Commission following the meeting held last September 7, the situation of the dairy sector is still critical all over Europe due to the low milk prices that the producers are faced with. The industry’s pressure for low prices on the one hand, and European distribution on the other, is leading towards the disappearance of the model of production which best fulfils the needs of the European citizens in regards to food quality and safety, animal welfare, environmental protection, and maintaining the countryside.

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Open letter – Milk Powder in favour of real milk to produce healthy dairy products

Brussels, 2 November 2015logo-eurovia.png

Mr. Phil Hogan

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

European Commission

B-1049 Brussels

Open letter – Milk Powder in favour of real milk to produce healthy dairy products

Dear Commissioner Hogan,

Since 1974, before the establishment of the Single CMO, law 138 has been in force in Italy, prohibiting the reconstitution of milk for human consumption. In short, the law prohibits the use of milk powder for the production of cheese and other derivatives. In May 2015 the European Commission asked the Italian authorities to change this law, claiming that it creates a distortion of the market. At the end of September, the Italian government rejected the European request and announced its intention to maintain the current legislation, asserting that it does not distort the market because it restricts the production, not the trade, of products made with powdered milk on the Italian territory.

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