US and EU Free Trade Agreement is recipe for trouble

TTIP harms the interests of European farmers and citizens in favor of boosting profits for international corporations

FTA%202014%20TIPP.jpgProponents of the free trade agreement between the US and EU have denounced the opposition of TTIP as dogmatic (FD, June 10th). But our opposition is not based on chagrin, but on witnessing the real-life impacts of other similar agreements on our food, environment and social well-being. 

TTIP was launched to the sounds of cheering and applause, with its advocates promising that the agreement could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions of euros in extra income. But, the European Commission’s own research undertaken by the think tank Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), has shown that the predicted additional GDP growth per year with the free trade agreement will be very low (0.05%). Furthermore, the hundreds of thousands promised new jobs are far from guaranteed.

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Via Campesina at the colloquium “Food Sovereignty : a critical dialogue”

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_foodsovereigntyfao_elizabeththehaguescaled.jpg(The Hague, 24 January 2014) A fundamentally contested concept, food sovereignty has — as a political project and campaign, an alternative, a social movement, and an analytical framework — barged into global agrarian discourse over the last two decades. Since then, it has inspired and mobilized diverse publics: workers, scholars and public intellectuals, farmers and peasant movements, NGOs and human rights activists in the North and global South.

Last January 24, various representatives of La Via Campesina took part in a colloquium organized in The Hague to discuss the concept of Food sovereignty. Elisabeth Mopfu, as general coordinator of La Via Campesina was invited to give a speech at this Yale Conference on Food Sovereignty attended by many academics, researchers and specialists, from universities around the world.

You can read the speech of Elisabeth Mopfu here.

IFAD’S Investments should strengthen family, peasant and indigenous farming as well as public policies for Food Sovereignty

Press  Release – La Via Campesina

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(Rome, 18 February 2014) A large delegation of peasants and farmers from the international farmers' movement La Via Campesina has met in Rome at the fifth global meeting of the Farmers' Forum, that was jointly arranged by organizations representing farmers and small-scale fishers and by the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). We, members of the delegation, call on the governments that are financing IFAD with public money to give a better direction to IFAD's programs and projects so as to support the peasant and agro-ecological agriculture that constitutes an answer to the food and climate crises. Every day on our family farms, it is we who are the major investors in our agricultural production. We feed the vast majority of the world's population, and yet 80% of hunger still occurs in rural areas. For these reasons, we ask for a substantial increase in public investment in this area and the implementation of policies that facilitate increased investment by peasants and family farmers themselves.

By participating in the Farmers' Forum, La Via Campesina also aims at obtaining from IFAD the effective implementation of the decisions taken by all of the governments of the world at the 40th session of the CFS (Committee on World Food Security), including the decision to develop, together with peasants' and farmers' organisations, at the national level, a vision and a strategy for investment in the farming sector.

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October 16: La Via Campesina celebrates World Food Sovereignty Day, demands real solutions to end hunger

Press Release - La Via Campesina

Today on October 16, 2013 La Via Campesina celebrates the world food sovereignty day. People around the world will carry out actions to celebrate the need of a people's food system. The global peasants' movement will make its voice heard loud and clear reaffirming that peasants- led agro-ecology is the real solution to global hunger. Not only do peasant farmers feed communities, they also cool the planet and protect mother nature. Unlike agribusiness, peasants do not treat food as a commodity for speculation profiting out of hunger. They do not patent nature for profit, keeping it out of the hands of the common man and woman. They share their knowledge and seeds, so everyone can have food to eat. On this day, La Via Campesina reminds society and governments that if we really want to put an end to hunger, then we must accept the central role of the peasants, and support them to feed humanity.

The 16 of October became the world food day to commemorate the founding of the FAO, the UN body whose mandate is to end global hunger and malnutrition. The theme chosen this year to celebrate this event is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. This is indeed a recognition that unsustainable food systems will not lead to a future free from hunger. Yet governments, under the pressure from business interests, continue to promote unsustainable farming and false solutions to hunger. La Via Campesina argues that GMOs, agrofuels and land grabbing by private corporations, which are being promoted by governments around the world in fact increase hunger.

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