Food Sovereignty and Trade

Elizabeth Mpofu speaks before 50,000 people at the “we are fed up” demonstration

2015-01-20-We%20are%20fed%20%20demonstration.jpg(Berlin, Germany, January 20, 2015) Speech of Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, in front of 50000 people at the we are fed up demonstration

My dear friends!

It is a pleasure and an honor for me to be here today in Berlin for this « We are fed up » demonstration. This was such a powerful march!! My name is Elizabeth Mpofu, I come from Zimbabwe, and I am the general coordinator of the international peasant movement called La Via Campesina. I am myself a small-holder farmer. As small farmers in La Via Campesina, from all over the globe, we are calling for Food Sovereignty, meaning, among other things, that we want and we need local food – and not industrialized and standardized food: we need a good quality food produced through indigenous agroecological farming systems, that respect life and the environment. Agroecological farming is the solution to climate change! And not climate smart agriculture!

Read more: Elizabeth Mpofu speaks before 50,000 people at...

Via Campesina solidarity visit to Douro small wine growers

La Via Campesina visits Douro small wine growers in solidarity with their struggle against exploitation by traders

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_2014_cna_lvc_congress.jpg

(Download full report)

(Porto, Portugal, 25 November 2014) On November 24th, 2014, following meetings of the LVC International Coordinating Committee (ICC) and the International Operative Secretariat (IOS), a La Via Campesina delegation, comprising 87 participants from 25 countries, visited vineyards owned by family farmers in the demarcated region of the Douro district. This field visit was organized by Confederação Nacional da Agricultura (CNA) and guided by one of its member organisations, AVIDOURO, an association of small wine growers.

According to La Via Campesina member organisation CNA, an association representing Portugese small to medium farmers, the biggest share of the subsidies paid in Portugal, about 70%, is received by only 5% of the farms. The remaining 30% is shared by the other 95% of farms, of which small and medium farms constitute the majority. Small and medium farmers, on the other hand, are heavily taxed.

Read more: Via Campesina solidarity visit to Douro small...

UAWC Launches Bas Baladi Outlet Store

For the marketing and selling of local Palestinian cooperatives’ products

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_Part_2.5.jpegThe Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) launched Bas Baladi outlet store for the marketing and selling of local Palestinian cooperatives’ products, in the presence of The District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam, Ministry of Agriculture Representative Mr. Ibrahim Iktishat and a number of officials, partners, civil society representatives, women cooperatives and farmers. The activity is within SULALAH project. The Project is funded by the European Union (EU) as part of the Food Security Program in the occupied Palestinian territory. It is implemented by UAWC in partnership with Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC), the Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environmental Resources Development (PHG), Qatar Charity, LaoreSardegna, Jericho’s Cooperative Association for Livestock Production and Altamerh’s Cooperative Association for Livestock Development.

The District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam and UAWC's General Director Khalid Hidmi pointed at the importance of supporting the productive cooperatives especially the women cooperatives and market them to support the local products and boycott the Israeli goods. The manager of SULALAH project Grace Odeh emphasized that the activity aims to open new markets for the Palestinian farmers' cooperatives that were objected to several production trainings in order to produce according to the Palestinians quality standards. Odeh also highlighted that UAWC has supported many agricultural and livestock cooperatives in marketing their products in local, regional and international markets in the past years.

Read more: UAWC Launches Bas Baladi Outlet Store

The World in Crisis: Synthesis of the First Working Day of the World Meeting of Popular Movements

vatican-1.jpgRome, October 27th, 2014

Inspired by the contributions of the Italian political activist Antonio Gramsci, on the basis of a pessimistic analysis and an optimistic approach to action, we made the following observations:

  1. National and international Capital has launched an offensive to take over and privatise natural resources (Biodiversity, Water, Oxygen etc.) This offensive is mainly focused on mining installations and  hydro-electric and nuclear power plants, all of which cause very serious problems - such as the destruction of the biomass, climate change, and evictions - as well as impinging directly upon the sovereignty of countries and of peoples.
  2. Seeds have been privatised and turned into commodities. Genetically modified plants, together with their accompanying toxic chemical inputs that poison and kill our peoples and the natural world, have been forced upon us.

    Read more: The World in Crisis: Synthesis of the First...

Palestinian Farmer Spotlights Food Sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_palestine-ali_at_fs_prize.jpegUAWC Accepts Food Sovereignty Prize

By Julia Burke (Original article published by The Progressive)

October 27th, 2014

Ali Abd El Rahman has been in the United States for only a few days, but it’s the longest he’s ever lived without having to go through a military checkpoint.

El Rahman lives in Jerusalem, and as a Palestinian, his actions, resource use, transportation, and work are under Israeli government control. He doesn’t even have a legal passport; the Israeli government issues Jerusalem Palestinians travel documents that require a lot of explanation when he attempts to cross international borders.

Read more: Palestinian Farmer Spotlights Food Sovereignty

Shashe farmers demonstrate practical food sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_Zimsoff_garden_20141.JPG(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.

Read more: Shashe farmers demonstrate practical food...

CFS in Rome: The majority of governments remain blind to the challenges of global food security

La Via Campesina Press Release

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_foodsov_9037336579_46090b0647_z.jpg(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.

Read more: CFS in Rome: The majority of governments remain...

Additional information