Food Sovereignty and Trade
- Published on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:58
(Zimbabwe, Masvingo, Otober 20, 2014) Food sovereignty as a concept is under debate by various actors in the academia, activists and governments. The focus has been on its meaning and implications, some of which is still contested by some actors. This year a “Critical Dialogue on Food Sovereignty” was held at the Hague in January, attended by various actors to debate this important concept. It’s various outcomes have been published recently by the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS), of which some of the articles are freely available (http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/toc/fjps20/41/6) though for a short time.
According to Elizabeth Mpofu in her opening speech (Via Campesina at the colloquium “Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue”) at The Hague, she said that “We are not trying to create the perfect definition, for a dictionary or for a history book but we are trying to build a movement to change the food system and the world”. This has been the case with farmers at Shashe, where food sovereignty, it various pillars, is alive. The farmers have over the years developed ways to make food sovereignty a reality. These farmers produce adequate food for own consumption, the surplus traded locally, value addition processes are underway and are trying to remove the chains of dependence on agro-inputs by adopting agroecology.
- Published on Friday, 17 October 2014 16:03
La Via Campesina Press Release
(Rome October 15th, 2014) The delegation of La Via Campesina, gathered in Rome for the 41st session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), recognizes the CFS as the major international forum for debate and decision making on agricultural and food issues. LVC urges governments to take urgent action in favor of peasant and indigenous agriculture, which is the only model capable of feeding the world. On the occasion of World Food Day, we restate our commitment to struggle for Food Sovereignty as a solution to the multiple crises affecting our societies. We reaffirm our commitment to the recognition and enforcement of peasant rights.
The celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Guidelines on the Right to Food has shown a huge gap between rights and their priority, respect, and application in reality. In this sense, LVC expressed deep disappointment with the lack of commitment to the application of the Guidelines.
- Published on Friday, 10 October 2014 18:06
(Mozambique, Maputo, October 1, 2014) Lack of access to markets by women farmers to trade their agricultural produce leads to the sale of their produce at low prices, and the seizure of their lands by mining companies are some of their main concerns raised during the III International Conference of Farmers and Soil, held in Maputo. The event attracted several movements including women farmers from the northern, central and southern regions of the country and the representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture and Technology.
The farmers’ movement, mostly represented by female leaders, used the platform to expose major issues affecting them.
In almost all provinces, they rely on agriculture to support their families and they face many difficulties in doing so. According to Rita Rizuane, farmer leader and member of the Board of Directors of the UNAC, one of the current concerns is related to the lack of access to markets for their agricultural produce nationally and regionally. Thus, some of their products particularly crops such as tomatoes spoil easily, resulting in the loss of income as farmers are forced to sell their products at very low prices.
- Published on Thursday, 25 September 2014 14:20
"Today a Window was opened in what for 50 years has been the Cathedral of the Green Revolution"
The International Symposium on Agroecology for Food and Nutritional Security was held on the 18th and 19th of September of 2014, at the headquarters of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) in Rome. This marked the first time that the FAO has ever officially and directly addressed the topic of agroecology.
In his closing remarks at the Symposium, José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the FAO, said that: "Today a Window was opened in what for 50 years has been the Cathedral of the Green Revolution." The delegation of La Via Campesina, that participated in the Symposium, welcomes this opening, but recommends caution, given the attempts to coopt agroecology that were observed at the event.
According to La Via Campesina, the science, practices and movement of agroecology are the product of centuries of accumulated peasant and indigenous knowledge, knowledge of how food was produced for humanity since long before farm chemicals were invented. This knowledge has been organized through a 'dialog of knowledges' (dialogo de saberes) with the western sciences of ecology, agronomy, rural sociology, etc. Support for agroecology, among rural social movements, consumers, environmentalists and others, has grown a lot in recent decades, in part because of it's sharp critique of, and it's alternatives to, the badly-named 'Green Revolution' of industrial agriculture. For La Via, peasant agroecology is a fundamental building block in the construction of food sovereignty.
- Published on Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:56
Honorees Represent Communities Defending Their Human Rights to Food in the Face of Policies of Land and Water Grabbing, Migration, and Militarization
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2014
Des Moines, IA — The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) is honored to name the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine, based in Gaza and the West Bank, and Community to Community Development /Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) of Bellingham, Washington, as co-recipients of the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize.
Their stories of continuous struggle to defend the rights of their communities – farmers and fishers in the occupied Palestinian territories and migrant Mexican farm workers in Washington State, both seeking to produce their own food, on their own land, in their home communities – stand in stark contrast to the storylines coming from agribusiness: that technological changes to crops can meet human needs and resolve hunger.
- Published on Friday, 05 September 2014 15:59
(Ramallah, Palestine)- a delegation from the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) participated in the European Summer School for Social Movements in France. The delegation presented a workshop titled “struggle for food sovereignty” funded by Rosa Luxemburg and in partnership with La Via Campesina.
UAWC’s delegation, that consists of members of the agricultural committees as representatives of the board of directors, and employees, met with a members of La Via Campesina France and provided them with an overview about the general situation of the farmers in Palestine within the Israeli occupation that violates the farmers’ rights through imposing checkpoints, the apartheid wall and control of resources. The delegation also had several talks in three major workshops in the European summer school; workshop on Palestine, BDS workshop, and food sovereignty workshop.
- Published on Tuesday, 02 September 2014 22:29
Press release – Brussels 2 September 2014
On the 3rd September, in the meeting of the Milk Advisory Group, representatives from different European organisations who are members of the European Coordination of Via Campesina will request measures to ensure that that the Russian veto of EU dairy products, equivalent to 2,2000,000 tonnes of milk, does not cause a huge imbalance in the milk industry and disastrous prices for farmers.
From the ECVC we demand that market and production regulation measures be applied urgently, to avoid surpluses and low prices for agricultural products, such as meat and milk, which could happen as a result the Russian veto.