Press release – La Via Campesina
(Rome, 15th of November 2009) La Via Campesina is appalled by the arrogance of the private sector and especially Nestlé in pretending to provide solutions for the food crisis whereas the transnational companies have continued to actively contribute to creating this crisis.
The comments of the Nestlé president at the FAO private sector Conference in Milan on the 12th of November were particularly shocking given Nestlés well known harmful campaigns to sell baby formula and discourage breastfeeding in developing countries.
Many transnational companies have increased their profits during the food crisis and have played a major role in increasing hunger in the world by taking control over the food system and the productive resources such as land and water, excluding family farmers from food production.
They have pushed changes in the agricultural production models, forcing high-input intensive production modes and pushing technologies and policies such as agrofuels, GMOs and trade liberalization solely in the interests of increasing their profits. The glaring failures of these transnational corporate strategies for the food system are evident from the statistics that show a growing number of hungry people.
On GMOs, Javier Sanchez, from the Spanish farmers' organisation COAG (member of Via Campesina), says “There is a broad global consensus among farmers and consumers that the GM technologies allow the companies to take control over seeds and deny farmers the possibility of saving their own seeds. Farmers lose the right to produce GM free food while consumers lose the right to eat GM free food. It is a clear example of how the privatization of natural resources goes against the common interest. European consumers who are wisely rejecting these technologies.”
Henry Saragih, international coordinator of La Via Campesina notes that in his home country of Indonesia, Nestle directly contributes to the impoverishment of farmers and malnutrition, particularly among babies, through their control of production and pricing in the dairy sector.
At the “Peoples Food Sovereignty Now" Forum parallel to the World Food Summit in Rome, Civil Society Organisations are proposing the real solutions of food sovereignty.
Friends of the Earth International
VETERINARIOS SIN FRONTERAS
ACSUD – LAS SEGOVIAS
ECOLOGISTAS EN ACCION – ESPAÑA
OBSERVATORIO DE LOS DERECHOS ECONÓMICOS, SOCIALES Y CULTURALES DE CATALUNYA
Fair/Helplocaltrade – Italy
Centro Internazionale Crocevia/Help Local Trade
Information for the media and interviews with farmers
Phone : +32474847280 (until November 11) and +39 3312861096 (From November 12 to 18)
La Via Campesina is an international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small producers, landless people, rural women and agricultural workers around the world. Our movement is made up of 148 member organisations active in 69 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.