The alternative exists: food sovereignty –where every state has the right to define its own agricultural policy – all that is needed is the political will to implement it
The High Level Conference on Food Security in Madrid on the 26th and 27th of January excludes the main stakeholders in the debate on the food crisis from meaningful participation. It is a forum dominated by the World Bank, IMF and WTO, as well as transnational companies such as Monsanto, and it is an outrage that they are given space on the panels of discussion while representatives of small farmers – who produce 80% of the world's food – are left only a few minutes on the floor to give their position.
International agricultural policy has been dominated by the policies of these international institutions for the last thirty years, and in spite of their pledges to halve hunger by 2015 through the Millennium Development Goals it has continued to increase worldwide, reaching over 1 billion people this year. The policies of these various institutions and transnational companies have completely failed – it is time to implement the alternative – food sovereignty.
* Small farmers and social movements from all over the world promote a model based on food sovereignty and orientated towards peasant-based agriculture and artisan fisheries, prioritising local markets and sustainable production methods. This model is based on the right to food and to the rights of peoples to define their own agricultural policies.
* The food crisis should not be an opportunity to make more money through the sale of fertilizers, agrochemicals and genetically modified seeds. Agribusinesses cannot be allowed to attempt to profit from the desperation of over a billion people. They must be excluded from dealing with the food crisis – agribusiness and international financial and trade agencies cannot be relied upon to solve a problem they themselves have caused.
* We call for an end to the development of new initiatives such as the High Level Task Force or Global Partnership. Other such initiatives in the past – such as the World Food Council and the International Alliance Against Hunger – have failed. We call for one single space inside the UN to deal with the food crisis with the full participation of social movements and small holder food producers.
There is a full declaration signed by 49 organisations – "Accelerating into disaster – when banks manage the food crisis" available online at www.foodsovereignty.org
For further information please contact:
Beatrice Gasco: +34690021802 (FR)
Fergal Anderson: +34636636756 (EN)
Ruben Villanueva: +34629164612 (ES)