- Published on Monday, 13 October 2014 15:19
Korean Women Peasants Association- Press Release
(Pyeongchang, Korea, October 1, 2014) The CBD COP MOP7 (the 7th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety), which started on September 29th, is being held here in Pyeongchang, Korea. Right in front of the conference venue, there is an exhibit of GM fluorescent silkworms that have been developed by the Rural Development Administration. These GM fluorescent silkworms, the subject of a Rural Development Administration study in 2011, were created from the eggs of silkworms into which genes from South American jellyfish were injected; these genes give rise to fluorescence green silk thread. As the Rural Administration has a plan to diversify the colors of silkworms, the GM green fluorescent silkworms are just a beginning. Last February, the GM Commercialization Team organized by the Rural Development Administration held a discussion meeting on how to apply agricultural biotechnology. When describing the national and international situations with regard to GM crop commercialization, they made ludicrous remarks, echoing those of GM developers in the US, such as “GMOs mean less pesticides”, and “The US would not have grown GM crops if there were any danger to the environment from GM crops”. There was a great deal of criticism from farmers' organizations and civil society organizations. At the very moment that we are speaking, there is ongoing GM development in Korea, and the volume of imports of GMOs for research and study is growing.
We, women peasants from all over the country, have gathered here in Pyeongchang, to raise our voice in opposition to GMOs and to support the struggles of the farmers who are preserving indigenous seeds.
- Published on Friday, 10 October 2014 17:49
(Mozambique, Maputo, October 1, 2014) –The III International Conference of Farmers and Soil, hosted by the National Farmers Union (UNAC) started today and will run for 2 days. About 250 participants participated in the conference held at the Conference Centre of TDM in Maputo. The conference focuses on the usurpation of the land, implementation of mega-projects with a direct impact on the day-to-day life of the farmers, poor access to credit and the lack of markets for farm produce among other issues.
"Our production will fall because we are running out of land," said Costa Estevão, the representative of the northern region. According to him the phenomenon [usurpation of the land] will reduce production, and "push" many farmers to hunger and poverty. Estevão claimed that many farmers are becoming landless. For instance, he said that the company Agro-alpha in Monapo grabbed 10 hectares of land from a citizen who had the documents of ownership, access and use of such land. This situation happens uneventfully and trivially.
- Published on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 16:17
Maputo -- With a shimmering coastline stretching for more than 1,500 miles along the Indian Ocean, heartland game parks rivaling the Serengeti and a cornucopia of natural resources -- located mostly in land used by humble farming communities -- Mozambique is getting quite a lot of attention these days as one of Africa's most upcoming investment hubs and in vogue destinations. Investors have not wasted any time in carving out their stake in the country two decades into the relative stability following a 16-year civil war on the heels of independence.
The cash-strapped Mozambican state technically owns all of the land within its borders, offering leases that are renewable up to 99 years to foreign governments and corporations for agribusiness or extractive industrial megaprojects.
- Published on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:21
Who produced the food that you are eating? Harsh working conditions for migrant workers in the UK food industry
A blog by Fanny Floremont – researcher from la Confédération Paysanne. This post was initially published on Migrant Voice website and later, on The Landworkers' Alliance website
The food sold in British supermarkets can be labelled either as ‘local’, ‘organic’, or even ‘fair trade’ when it comes from overseas countries, but no label guarantees that workers who produced, processed and packaged it in the UK enjoyed fair and decent working conditions. Consumers are often unaware of the social costs of low food prices.
Natalia and Krzysztof were born in Poland but they now work in a vegetable processing factory in Boston, Lincolnshire. “I am over seven month pregnant, says Natalia, but when I arrive at work, they don’t let me go to the toilet during at least one hour”. Krzysztof carries on: “we have piece rates in the factory but often they don’t tell us how much they pay for each tray. They set the rate once they’ve seen how much we’ve made”. Both agree that managers put unnecessary pressure on workers, shouting to ask them to work quicker and using CCTV to monitor all their comings and goings. And when workers start complaining too loud, like Krzysztof did, they are told: “here is the door, you can always leave”.