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Food Sovereignty and Trade

The Landworkers’ Alliance: Farming manifestos fail to address core issues

2015-04-LWA-logo-small.jpgLWA Press Release- For immediate release: Farming manifestos fail to address core issues

(UK, April 6, 2015) On the eve of the elections, The Landworkers’ Alliance (LWA) condemns the lack of vision in farming manifestos and demands that all political parties address the serious issues facing food and farming in the UK. Among other policy recommendations, the Landworkers’ Alliance asks all parties to commit to drawing up a National Food Policy based on food sovereignty principles, and to pulling out of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

A national food policy must level the playing-field for small-scale producers, improve the supply of high-quality healthy food, increase employment in agriculture, support new entrants to farming and improve UK food security by investing in local production. Political parties must also take stronger positions to protect the ecological basis for UK farming by implementing a comprehensive ban on GM and working to restore our soils.

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UAWC distributes palm saplings and natural fertilizers in the Jordan Valley

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-04-UAWC_planting_palms.jpg(Palestine, Marj Na'jeh, April 2015) The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) distributed 354 palm saplings to be planted on 25 dunums for the farmers of Marj Na'jeh community in the Jordan Valley, in addition UAWC distributed irrigation networks and natural fertilizers to the farmers. This activity is within "Struggle for Land: defending Palestinians' right to access their land in the Jordan Valley" project funded by Medico Internationals.

The project's coordinator Dr. Moayyad Bsharat explained that the project provides job opportunities for Palestinian workers to work on their land rather than in the Israeli settlements. The project aims to support the steadfastness of the farmers in the Jordan Valley area by supporting the cultivation of sustainable crops such as palm cultivation. Moreover, the project aims to cultivate crop varieties that bear the water and soil salinity, which generate income and work towards the sustainable development of the beneficiary families.

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Small farmers target British Sugar demanding ‘fair deal’

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-04-30_LWA-protest.jpg(First published by Farmers Weekly)

A group representing small, sustainable farmers has staged a protest against British Sugar, demanding a “fair deal” for small producers.

About 50 activists from the Landworkers Alliance (LWA) gathered outside British Sugar’s factory in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday (29 April).

Farmers from across the UK were joined by New York-based performance artists “Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping” to oppose the government’s “biased and short-sighted focus on industrial farming”.

LWA branded British Sugar as a “symbol of how broken our current food system is” because the £12.9bn company, a subsidiary of Associated British Foods, controls “all of the sugar processing in the UK”.

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Argentina: Peasants gather for food sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-cloc-food_sovereignty.jpg(Argentina, Buenos, April 11, 2015) The IV Assembly of Youth marked the beginning of the VI Congress of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations, CLOC-Via Campesina in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The congress started on the 10th and will end on the 17th of April, and will close with a massive march in commemoration of the International Day of Peasant's Struggle.

Over a thousand representatives of peasant movements from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe will attend this gathering, united by the slogan: Against Capitalism for the sovereignty of our peoples: America is united and continues to struggle. Diego Montón, representative of CLOC-VC’s general secretariat said that “The congress is arranged every four years in order to join forces in the struggle against systematic human rights violations to which our peasantry is exposed”.

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End of Milk quotas to affect many European dairy farms

logo-eurovia.pngPress Release 31 March 2015

The ECVC denounces the European milk industry and the end the milk quota system which threatens thousands of European dairy farmers with bankruptcy

 “End of Milk quotas puts thousands of European dairy farms on the path to extinction”

The European Coordination Via Campesina denounces the end of the milk quota system, which will come into effect on April 1st 2015. This signifies the abandonment of small-scale European milk producers in favour of industry and distributors. Without quotas, the dairy industry will have the power to choose the dates, the prices, the quality parameters and the collection areas for milk. This threatens the more equitable and resilient model of dairy production based on family farms distributed across rural areas. Without quotas the only farms that will be able to survive are a handful of industrial-scale producers who offer less employment, lower animal welfare, lower environmental sustainability and the widespread use of antibiotics.

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The Matthadiguda Declaration for Food Sovereignty in Telangana -2015

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-matthadiguda-_food-_sovereinty-panel11.jpg(India, Telanganam February 24, 2015) Over 600 delegates participated in the Telangana Food Sovereignty Summit organised by the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India and hosted by its member organisation Telangana Adivasi Aikya Vedika, in Matthadiguda village, Adilabad district, Telangana, between February 22 and 24, 2015. Diverse social movements and civil society organisations of Telangana as also Adivasi, Dalit and Farmers movements from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Maharashtra participated and expressed their solidarity with the Matthadiguda Declaration on Food Sovereignty in Telangana:

 We the adivasis, dalits, peasants, shepherds and co-producer citizens of Telangana, Indiaassert our collective rights to our land, forests, water, air, indigenous seeds and animals, our diverse food cultures, our knowledge systems and local markets. We shall safeguard our sacred relationship with Mother Earth and protect this abundance of life for future generations. We declare that it is women of our communities who are leading this movement.

Read more: The Matthadiguda Declaration for Food...

Alten Post interview Elizabeth Mpofu about G8/G7 Initiative

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-Elizabeth_Mpofu_Germany_Interview.JPG(Germany, Teisendorf, January 21, 2015) On the afternoon of January 21, 2015, before the talk of small farmer Elizabeth Mpofu from Zimbabwe, general secretary of the international peasant organization “Via Campesina” and Co-founder of regional farmers-organizations, on the evening of the same day in the “Alten Post” Teisendorf, did freelance journalist Alois Albrecht have the chance to do an interview with Mrs. Mpofu about themes other than those, that she would cover in her talk in the evening.  The questions had to do, not only with the country in South-East Africa, but also with the general situation of small-farmers in other African countries.

The Interview:

Q. Mrs. Mpofu, how was land in Zimbabwe distributed, after the removal of the white minority government of Ian Smith?

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