Food Sovereignty and Trade

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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UNCTAD 14: Elites speaking in the name of peasants and the global poor won't solve anything!

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-07-22_UNCTAD_Group.jpgStatement from La Via Campesina and Kenyan Social Movements

Nairobi, 22 July 2015: 

Today the UNCTAD 14th session ends in Nairobi, Kenya, and the discussions about its agenda over the next four years are finalised. The session started on the 17th and sought action to move towards an inclusive and equitable global economic environment for trade and development. This meeting was attended by the government ministries responsible for trade, development and commerce and many other delegates from the business and civil society organisations. 

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Markets don't regulate, markets speculate

logo-eurovia.pngPress release

Brussels, 14 July 2016

In light of the upcoming European Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting this July 18 in Brussels, the European Coordination Via Campesina, which represents thousands of family farmers in Europe, urges the Council to introduce mandatory measures to reduce milk production in order to protect dairy farmers throughout Europe.

The recent meetings in Brussels between actors of the dairy sector leave no doubt about the current situation. The sector is caught in a series of crises and the view that only the control of production will solve the problem is now unanimous. The non regulated market, subject to speculation, is wiping out producers; it is therefore necessary to act on the market. The support offered by the CAP - or the funds released in parallel to support producers, as has been proposed by representatives of some Member States- are not and will never be sufficient.

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Poem: Climate Justice and Food Sovereignty Now!

b_350_0_16777215_00_http___www.idex.org_wp-content_uploads_2016_05_13165831_1334768426552266_3528634615667321594_n.jpgA poem by Elizabeth Mpofu, the General Coordinator of Via Campesina. 

Elizabeth is also the Chairperson of Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) and this poem first appeared on ZIMSOFF’s Facebook page. 

Read more: Poem: Climate Justice and Food Sovereignty Now!

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