La Via Campesina, Building an International Movement for Food and Seed Sovereignty

2016-02-03-Elizabeth Mpofu.jpgAn Interview with General Coordinator Elizabeth Mpofu [1]

February 2, 2016 

By Simone Adler (Other Worlds)

Who we are fighting for is every single peasant farmer – more than 200 million – on the planet. People are eager to join hands in building a global voice.

Transnational corporations are pushing policies in African countries for industrial farming and the use of GMO [genetically modified] seeds, while grabbing our land and [stealing] our natural resources.  No one should come and tell us how to produce food. 

In Via Campesina, we believe in controlling our land and seeds and producing the healthy food that we want, the way we want. Our response is to fight for food sovereignty against these transnational corporations that are connected to the [New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition of the] G8, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the World Trade Organization, and free trade agreements that don’t recognize the needs of peasants or the poor.

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UAWC distributes 315 palm seedlings to Jordan Valley farmers

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-01-06-UAWC_trees.jpg(Ramallah, January 2016)- the Union of Agricultural Work Committees distributed palm seedlings for farmers in Zubaydat village in Jericho and Jordan Valley governorate within " Struggle for land: Defense of Palestinian Land Rights in the Jordan Valley" project, which is funded by the Medico International Foundation.

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Thousands protest in Seoul against the government policies

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-11-25-Korean_struggle.jpg(Seoul, November 24, 2015) The Korean peasant movement organised and mobilised a big protest on the 14th November. Over 30,000 peasants were among the 130,000 people gathered in central Seoul to protest against rice imports among other issues and called for the resignation of South Korean President Park Geun-hye. 

The police used water cannons against the protesters. They also used barricades to stop the protesters. Many people were hurt, some arrested. The attack with the water cannons left a peasant brain dead. Because of this people did a vigil and lit candles. 
The Korean peasant movement is planning one more struggle 5th December. 

A chance for the EU to amend bad policies in the milk sector

logo-eurovia.pngNovember 18,  2015

 Dear Ministers,

As the Agriculture and Fisheries Council of the EU is set to meet this November 16 in Brussels, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) would like to, once more, bring to your attention, our deep concern over the situation of the European dairy sector in this serious and unprecedented crisis which will destroy the economy in many rural areas. Among other things, this is caused by a loosening of market regulations, of which the removal of EU milk quotas stands out.

After the new measures package was released by the Council and the Commission following the meeting held last September 7, the situation of the dairy sector is still critical all over Europe due to the low milk prices that the producers are faced with. The industry’s pressure for low prices on the one hand, and European distribution on the other, is leading towards the disappearance of the model of production which best fulfils the needs of the European citizens in regards to food quality and safety, animal welfare, environmental protection, and maintaining the countryside.

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