Transition towards a Food Commons Regime

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* Article: Transition towards a Food Commons Regime: Re-commoning Food to Crowd-feed the World. By Jose Luis Vivero Pol. Chapter 9 in book: Perspectives on Commoning. Autonomist Principles and Practices. Ed. by Guido Ruivenkamp and Andy Hilton. Zed Books, 2017, pp.325 - 379.



"Food, air and water are the three essentials our human body requires to functioning, but only food is fully privatized. Food as a purely private good prevents millions to get access to such a basic resource, since the purchasing power determines its access. With the dominant no money-no food rationality, hunger still prevails in a world of abundance. In this paper, the commons approach is applied to food, deconstructing food as a pure private good and reconstructing it as a commons that can be better produced and distributed by a tricentric governance system compounded by market rules, public regulations and collective actions. This narrative can sustain the urgently needed transition from the dominating agro-industrial food system towards a food system that is fairer to food producers, consumers and nature. Along those lines, food and nutrition security shall be understood as a Global Public Good and the price of food shall rightly reflect its value to society and its multiple dimensions, not just the value in exchange. Should food be consider as a commons, the implications for the governance of the global food system would be enormous, with examples ranging from placing food outside the framework agreements dealing with pure private goods, banning financial speculation on food or preparing international binding agreements to govern the production, distribution and access of food to every human being. "