It is time to declare the food sovereignty of the citizens of Switzerland

Harare, 13 August 2018: As the result of an impressive campaign led by the agricultural union Uniterre and members of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty, on September 23rd, 2018, Swiss citizens will be able to vote for the inclusion of food sovereignty in the Swiss constitution. Such an inclusion would be a first in Europe and an example to be followed.

In Europe and all over the world, agribusiness shapes our agricultural and food systems, shrinking our choices, threatening biodiversity, increasing the vulnerability of peasants and of the population in general, and undermining rural institutions. Agribusiness is accelerating climate change in all parts of the world, including Europe, as is shown by the increasing occurrence of heatwaves, droughts, water shortages, and famines. It is time to act. A different path is possible; it leads towards food sovereignty.

Food sovereignty fulfils the aspirations of Swiss farmers and citizens, who want a food system that conserves the environment, maintains public health, and respects the general interest of society, rather than the interests of agribusiness, which destroys our environment and contaminates our food and our bodies. Food sovereignty is a fundamental principle that should be part of our national constitutions.

Food sovereignty also fulfils the aspirations of the millions of peasants and farmers who are members of the international peasant movement, La Via Campesina. On the day of the vote, our eyes will be on Switzerland. Our hearts will go out to our friends in Uniterre; we will be fervently hoping that Switzerland, like a number of other countries, will vote in favour of food sovereignty.

La Via Campesina – With feminism and food sovereignty, we are feeding our peoples and building the movement to change the world.