Europe, Civil Society statement for FAO regional meeting

Hunger is increasing in all parts of ECA. The root-causes are agricultural policies that are not used to support local small-scale producers. Agricultural production is linked to the International Financial Insitutions, international trade and speculation. Increasing informal and casual labour, the loss of social protection in rural areas and low wages are pushing more waged agricultural workers into poverty and hunger.

In the ECA, many small-scale producers and waged agricultural workers, especially seasonal workers are excluded from social protection and have difficulty surviving cold winters without income. The current crisis has also led to generalised austerity programmes ; new segments of the population now suffer from poverty and hunger. The most vulnerable groups are the aged, youth, migrant workers and small-scale food producers

Public legislation and civil society must jointly protect the Commons and the public provision of goods and services. There is a decrease in land available for local food production, due to increased property speculation in urban areas, land-grabbing for industrial food and agro-fuel production. Water must remain a common good, with guaranteed free access and sanitation for private households and small-scale agro-ecological production. It must be protected from big privatised projects such as dams.

Read more: Europe, Civil Society statement for FAO...

Food sovereignty as a transformative model of economic power

Jenny Allsopp, 22 April 2012

The argument is being made that “food sovereignty” is an organising principle so demonstrably strong that it has the potential to transform economic power. Can we really invest in it as the ecological principle to take us into the 21st century? Jenny Allsopp reports from the AWID Forum 2012 ↑

About the author
Jennifer Allsopp is the Student Nework Co-ordinator at Student Action for Refugees (STAR) ↑ in the UK, and a Contributing Editor for openDemocracy 50:50

In order to advance women’s rights and justice globally we need a new ecological principle that can operate at the micro and macro level and serve both the practical function of a livelihood and the aspirational breadth of a “utopia”. When Francisca Rodriguez, a Chilean feminist activist from the international Via Campesina movement, responded to this call in the AWID ↑ plenary by arguing that "food sovereignty" should be instated as the guiding economic principle and a challenge for a new economic model, she was met with resounding applause and ululations. At once an axis of rural life and a radical call for global transformation, women from across all continents – urban and rural, from the North and South - are looking to the transformative potential of this concept as an answer to the environmental ravages wrought by capitalism and a challenge to the “mercantilisation of nature” instituted by the so-called ‘Green Economy’.

Today’s workshop on ‘Economic Power and Development Alternatives’ provided an opportunity to critically examine the “emancipatory potential” of this call. Peasant, indigenous and feminist activists from all across Latin America reiterated that “food sovereignty” is an organising principle so demonstrably strong that it has the potential to transform economic power. Francisca defines “food sovereignty” as a democratic extension of “food security”, “the right of people to democratically decide on their own food and agricultural systems” and produce food on one’s own land in a way that is environmentally sustainable.

Read more: Food sovereignty as a transformative model of...

Watch the video of the Nyeleni Europe Forum

2012-03-08-video.jpg

Press Release - Nyeleni Europe Movement

(Brussels, March 7, 2012) “The model of production dominating European food systems is controlled by corporate interests and is based on concentrated power, monocultures, patented seeds and livestock breeds,” Nyeleni Europe 2011 Synthesis Report and Action Plan

Food Sovereignty focuses on food for people, values food providers, localises food systems, builds knowledge and skills, prioritizes local control, and works with nature” International Nyeleni forum for Food Sovereignty, Mali, 2007

Representatives from 30 European countries came together in Brussels from the 5-7 March 2012 to promote a food sovereignty framework for food and agriculture to the European institutions, and to launch the Synthesis report and Action Plan from the Nyeleni Europe Forum for Food Sovereignty held in Krems, Austria, in August 2011, where over 400 people met from across the whole European region.

Read more: Watch the video of the Nyeleni Europe Forum

Additional information