Europe is Cracking

f343fcbb8f4887c168b5de4d4fb82a7c.jpgThe paradigm of an urban Europe that gets its food from the southern countries has been one of the main victims of the current financial crisis that hits the big powers of industrial capitalism.

This was one of the reflections made by Javier Sanchez of La Via Campesina Europe. He joined the delegation of the international peasant organization that has been working on the drafting of the Guidelines on land tenure at the FAO’s headquarters.

The Spanish farmer talked about the existence of communal lands in several regions of Europe and their social and food significance, the aging of the continent’s population, especially in the rural areas -worsened by the crisis- and the need for food sovereignty.

The expansion of the European Union’s borders meant the beginning of an intense race of the countries leading the coalition over the control of cultivable lands and markets in those countries. This made the cost of living rise, while incomes froze. “Many farmers and citizens of those countries saw how the expectations to become part of ‘Europe’ became a great disappointment, and they ended up migrating to countries like Spain, France, Germany or Italy, where they are considered second-class citizens”.

Javier is a member of the Coordination of Cattle Farmers Organizations (COAG) in Spain.

Photo: Radio Mundo Real

(2011) Radio Mundo Real

La Via Campesina marches with the Indignados in Rome - 15 oct 2011

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Fight against Land Grabbing

16-17 October 2011 - World Food Sovereignty Day

Rome, Italy, 17 October 2011 – As the 37th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) begins at FAO, civil society organizations (CSO) welcome Saturday’s results of the second round of negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests, and urge governments to conclude negotiations as soon as possible.

After an intense week of negotiations, 74% of the text of the Guidelines was adopted, including crucial issues for social movements and organizations, like the recognition and protection of customary systems of land tenure, forest and fisheries, and protection of the defenders of the rights of farmers, fishermen, indigenous peoples, pastoralists and nomads, as well as a commitment to not criminalize social struggles in defense of their natural resources.

"The adopted text reflects the fact that we were here, reminding government officials that they have an obligation to ensure our interests," said Kalissa Regier, Canadian farmer, on behalf of La Via Campesina.

Read more: Fight against Land Grabbing

World Food Sovereignty Day: “Big business has failed – We small farmers can feed the world”

La Via Campesina  - Press Release

(Rome, October 15th) On the occasion of the 37th session of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) where a delegation of farmers from La Via Campesina will be present along with other actors from civil society to follow the discussions and participate in the debates, La Via Campesina reiterates its demands for solutions based on the principles of food sovereignty. Important issues such as land tenure, price volatility, gender issues and nutrition as well as agricultural investments are on the agenda.

Land grabbing is one of the most blatant and scandalous examples of how the dominant corporate food system is pushing a growing number of farmers and consumers into poverty. The world is producing enough food to feed the population but it does not reach the people because of barriers like monopolized access to the land, the stranglehold over productive resources and the increasingly concentrated control of the food chain. We need the various governments to adopt effective and strong measures to prohibit these practices and to adopt policies that support sustainable farmers.

Read more: World Food Sovereignty Day: “Big business has...

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