UN Food Systems Summit: The UN and Green Capitalism Attack Food Sovereignty

Social movements that struggle for food sovereignty and build agroecology denounce and reject the offensive taken by corporate power against food and nature, represented by the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS).

This summit is the result of a deal between the UN and the World Economic Forum and it’s a strategy adopted by big transnational corporations to move against food. It’s organized through a “multi-stakeholder participation” model, which puts transnational corporations at the center of political decision making. This consolidates the privatization of politics and the corporate capture of the UN system.

The summit bypasses the processes and forums built over the course of decades with the participation of peasant and Indigenous movements, disregards the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants, and directly attacks food sovereignty. This is why La Via Campesina is calling for a boycott of this summit with the slogan: “Not In Our Names!”

The women with the World March of Women, Friends of the Earth International, FIAN, and La Via Campesina have denounced[1] the offensive of the market that grabs nature, territories, and food. Several fronts of racist and patriarchal capitalism and colonialism converge on this offensive. The appropriation of food systems, agriculture 4.0, green economy, and the so-called nature-based solutions are all connected with each other, with digitalization in the background.

Once again, the economic elites use the profound crisis we are facing to justify their false solutions, which further incorporate nature into the financialized cycle of capitalist accumulation.

Our resistance comes from the criticism and affirmation that the true solutions are the agriculture historically carried out by the peoples, peasants, Indigenous communities, and women.

Food cannot be seen as an isolated thing, as it is at the center of the organization of society and our shared lives. When transnational corporations organize to control the entire food system, they want to control society and life.

Women warn that what’s at stake here is a change in the sense and meaning of food and nourishment. This is related to an ongoing overhaul of the food industry, in which ultra-processed food products display “fortifying” features as a solution. They add “more calcium” to milk or substitute sugar for stevia in their Coca-cola products, as if being healthy was just about that. “Nutritious” then becomes something that is measured through the fragmentation of substances that can be produced in a lab, in an advanced process that makes everything we eat artificial.

This is why we must be watchful in our comprehensive analysis, understanding the connection between land grabbing, the displacement of peasants by agribusiness, and the investments in synthetic and molecular biology, for example.

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Illustration: Polyp