In this short animation video La Via Campesina explains the five reasons why WTO is bad for agriculture.

Watch the video in French and Spanish

  1. It has increased inequality and rural debt by destroying local peasant markets

The World Trade Organisation – WTO – has created a ‘free’ trade system that gives huge agribusiness corporations – receiving massive subsidies – ‘the freedom’ to dump cheap food into economically weaker nations. This has pushed peasants to the margins, caused a crash in price, destroyed local peasant markets and has increased rural debt, all the while aiding the concentration of wealth. The result? A criminal level of inequality where 82% of world’s wealth is now in the hands of a mere 1%.

  1. A handful of Corporations now control the global food system

Less than 20 global corporations today control the global food chain that governs what food we buy and how we buy it. The 3 largest corporations control more than 50 % of the world’s seed market. The top 4 Corporations control 99% of livestock breeding. 10 corporations enjoy 55% of the fertilizer market. 4 traders control around 75 % of the world grain and soya market. A mere 11 Corporations control 30% of food processing. It’s all about consolidation and control now!

  1. Free Trade Agreements criminalise a 10,000 year old food system by patenting seeds and giving Corporations the upper hand

Seed is the basis of life. The WTO and other free trade agreements force, sometimes threaten, countries to sign international agreements that allow corporations to put patents on seeds. Today, this has led to peasants being treated as criminals for selecting and reusing seeds from their own harvest. Peasants feed the world, we are not criminals! Even when some Governments resist, these free trade systems allow investors to sue national governments in International Court, overriding national laws and democratic processes.

  1. Industrial agriculture is heating up our planet

Industrial Agriculture and related land use contributes to 30% of the Green House Gas emissions. It has led to extreme weather fluctuations, affecting agriculture and peasants the most.

  1. WTO and Free Trade Agreements Kills Peasants

On the 10th of September 2003 in Cancun, Mexico, Lee Kyung Hae, the Korean peasant took his own life outside the WTO meeting venue to expose the destruction WTO has caused in rural areas. He was a brilliant farmer who turned a barren land into a thriving farm. Yet he lost everything after Korea started importing cheap rice and cows. Lee is not the only one. In India alone, over 300,000 peasants took their lives in the last 20 years, unable to bear their mounting debt. It is now a worldwide phenomenon.

In Lee’s memory we mark 10th of September as the Global Day of Action Against WTO and Free Trade Agreements.

“We are all Lee. WTO kills Peasants everywhere.”

Keep Agriculture out of Free Trade negotiations!
We want Food Sovereignty not Free Trade!