food or famie

food or famie

food shortages in US

food shortages in US


Food Sovereignty

Democratization of local control of food resources

– prioritizing local agricultural production to feed the population and the access of women and men farmers to land, water, seeds and credit. Hence the need for agrarian reform, to combat genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to guarantee free access to seeds, and to keep water a public good to be distributed in a sustainable way.

– the right of farmers to produce food and the right of consumers to be able to decide what they want to consume, and how and who produces it.

– the right of all nations to protect themselves from excessively cheap agricultural and food imports (dumping).

– linking agricultural prices to production costs; this will only be possible if countries or unions of countries have the right to impose duties on excessively cheap imports, if they commit themselves to promoting sustainable rural production, and if they control domestic market production to prevent structural surpluses.

– engaging the participation of people in the definition of agrarian policies.

– acknowledging the right of women farmers who play a key role in agricultural production and in food issues.

Most food in the world is grown, collected and harvested by more than a billion small-scale farmers, pastoralists and artisanal fisherfolk. This food is mainly sold, processed, resold and consumed locally, thereby providing the foundation of peoples’ nutrition, incomes and economies across the world. At a time when halving world poverty and eradicating hunger are at the forefront of the international development agenda, reinforcing the diversity and vibrancy of local food systems should also be at the forefront of the international policy agenda. Yet, the rules that govern food and agriculture at all levels – local, national and international – are designed a priori to facilitate not local, but international trade. This reduces diversity and concentrates the wealth of the world’s food economies in the hands of ever fewer multinational corporations, while the majority of the world’s small-scale food producers, processors, local traders and consumers including, crucially, the poor and malnourished, are marginalised.

Local Farmers could produce enough food to end hunger; why won’t we let them?

food sovereignty is the right of all peoples, their nations or unions of States to define their agricultural and food policies, without dumping involving third-party countries. Food sovereignty goes beyond the more common concept of food security, which merely seeks to ensure that a sufficient amount of safe food is produced without taking into account the kind of food produced and how, where and on what scale it is produced.

The concept of food sovereignty was developed by Vía Campesina and introduced into the public debate on occasion of the World Food Summit in 1996, with the aim of providing an alternative to neo-liberal policies. Since then, this concept has become a major issue of debate on the international agricultural agenda, even within the United Nations. It was the main subject of discussion in the forum of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that was held in parallel to the June 2002 World Food Summit of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Who Own’s Nature

New report warns of corporate concentration, commodification of nature; highlights global resistance grounded in “Food Sovereignty”.

ETC Group today releases a 48-page report, “Who Owns Nature?” on corporate concentration in commercial food, farming, health and the strategic push to commodify the planet’s remaining natural resources.

In a world where market research is becoming increasingly proprietary and pricey, ETC Group’s report names names, discloses market share and provides top 10 industry rankings up and down the corporate food chain. Not all the corporations identified in ETC Group’s new report are household names, but collectively they control a staggering share of the commercial products found on industrial farms, in our refrigerators and medicine cabinets. An international advocacy organization based in Canada, ETC Group has been monitoring corporate power in the industrial life sciences for the past 30 years.

Hisorical Perspective