Food Sovereignty and Trade

Che Sudaka dedicates their new music video to La Via Campesina and struggles for food sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00_.._es_images_Cuando_Ser_Video.pngColombian-Argentine music group Che Sudaka, which is based in Barcelona has released a new music video "Cuando Sera” as part of their album “Hoy” and has dedicated the song to La Via Campesina’s peaceful struggle for food sovereignty and social justice. 

The song was inspired by the events during the National Agricultural Parade in Colombia in 2013, which was attended by peasant movements, artisanal miners, transporters, health workers, students, and with the support of trade union centers and popular organizations. The parade brought attention to the perils of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by Colombia, that restricted peasants from using seeds from their own harvest and tilted agriculture in favor of multinationals like Monsanto. The song was made in collaboration with Subcantante Mario and David Jaramillo, members of the Colombian group Doctor Krápula.

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Towards a popular vote on food sovereignty in Switzerland

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-12-09-uniterre_campaign.jpgBrussels, December 8, 2016

Uniterre’s quest to write food security into the Swiss constitution

On the back of La Via Campesina’s 4th international meeting in Maputo, the idea to incorporate food sovereignty into the Swiss Constitution took form under the Uniterre committee, a member of European Coordination Via Campesina. The Maputo gathering served as a call for actions towards food sovereignty and visions for reshaping domestic laws on agriculture and food policy. Allow us to recount our Helvetian process.

A lengthy undertaking

The Swiss system of direct democracy theoretically allows for changes to the constitution by popular initiative. In order for this to be done, first, proponents of change must produce a draft of the new constitutional article. Legal counsel can be useful in assuring the text’s force in the face of government scrutiny. After approval from the Federal Chancellery, the draft’s creators are given 18 months to collect 100,000 signatures from eligible Swiss voters. The text is then reviewed by the Swiss Federal Council (the executive branch) and Parliament (the legislative) and an assessment is given. These bodies, which have roughly three years to submit the text to popular vote, can issue a favourable or unfavourable review and even prepare a counter draft which will additionally be put to vote. There are rare cases in which the counter proposition, viewed satisfactorily by the authors of the original text, is withdrawn by the same. In such cases only the counter draft is submitted to popular vote.

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Cattle producers affected by TB quarantine can't wait – they need relief now

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-10-15_NFU.pngMedia Release

(Red Deer, AB – November 29, 2016) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) urges federal Agriculture Minister, Lawrence MacAulay, and his provincial counterparts, Hon. Oneil Carlier (Alberta) and Hon. Lyle Stewart (Saskatchewan), to provide immediate relief to cattle farmers affected by the expanding quarantine measures required in response to the discovery of Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) infection of six Alberta animals. Farm families are suffering undue stress and financial hardship.

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16th October: For Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_16_October_Call_poster_EN.pngPress Release

(Harare, October 13, 2016) On October 16th, La Via Campesina’s International Day of Action for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs), we continue the struggle to end corporate control of our food and reject free trade agreements.

Through their extensive and clandestine lobbying, TNCs have put in place legal, economic and trade policy frameworks to legitimise their greed for profits and destruction of nature. For example, the Investment Court System (ICS) or State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and the Free Trade Agreements (such as in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [TTIP], Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreements [CETA], North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA], Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP], Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP]) are all biased in their favour to ensure full control of the world agricultural production and distribution. Patents and intellectual property regimes are their tools to achieve this. In this process, peasant seeds, the foundation of agriculture, are rendered illegal. Biodiversity is eroded and replaced by uniform crops.  Grabbing of land from peasants, particularly in developing countries, is carried out in the pretext of “feeding 9 billion people by 2050” through their advanced and destructive technologies.

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"More farmers, better food"

logo-eurovia.png(Brussels, September 6, 2016)- Today the European Coordination Via Campesina along with the European Milk Board presented their analysis and diagnosis of the current situation faced by the dairy sector -particularly by producers- to the Milk Market Observatory (MMO).

"Industrial diaries are making record profits, said Isabel Vilalba, representing ECVC. Lactalis Iberica, for example, in 2015 tripled its profits compared to the previous year. However, these industries are imposing prices on producers that are always below the average and below production costs. We must end the system of contracts in which prices and conditions are unilaterally imposed by the industry " reiterated the milk producer from Galicia.

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How a meeting in Cork could save rural Europe

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-09-05-Cork.jpgThe CAP’s failings mean grassroots movements and national governments are starting to take matters into their own hands. Policymakers at this week’s Cork conference on rural development must take heed, write Stanka Becheva and Ramona Duminicioiu. First published by

Cork, a picturesque city in South-West Ireland might not ring a bell to many people, and the event taking place there this week even less: the Cork European Conference on Rural Development. Unless, of course, you’re somehow involved – for better or for worse – in the European Union’s agricultural debate.

But the impact of this meeting goes beyond farmers or those working in the food sector; they will impact on the future of the entire continent, because whether you live in the city or in the countryside, we all eat. And – with a few exceptions – that food comes from our rural areas.

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Putting the CAP on the right track

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-09-07-ECVC_CAP1.jpgPress Release

Brussels, September 1, 2016

In view of the informal meeting of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union to be held on September 2, ECVC with our colleagues from the Confederation Paysanne, will mobilize in Chambort to denounce and raise awareness of the serious crisis that the CAP- adapted to free trade agreements and discarding market regulation instruments- has on producers and on European citizens. ECVC also wants to send a clear message to the ministers of agriculture: we need another agricultural and food policy, one that protects the fundamental rights of our communities and puts the market at the service of the people.

The European Coordination Via Campesina welcomes the initiative of the French Agriculture Minister Stephane Foll of gathering his counterparts at Chambort to informally discuss the future of the Common Agricultural Policy. The meeting will be short, in a Royal venue of dubious symbolism, but it takes place amidst an intense agricultural crisis which we hope will give the ministers the foresight and ambition to profoundly change the CAP in the months to come.

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