Food Sovereignty Movement

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Definition

"food sovereignty = “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation.” (http://www.nyeleni2007.org/?lang=en&lang_fixe=ok,)


Description

By Daniel Moss at http://onthecommons.org/node/1192 :

"four movements – small farmers, environmentalists, foodies, consumers – all coming together to radically transform our corporate food system and win equal access to precious resources: land, water and food. Steward those resources for the common good and you have the makings of a healthy, edible commons.

The current food system has failed to feed the world’s hungry, most of whom, tragically, are the very people who feed us: farmers, farmworkers, and other food producers. They are also the hardest hit by the massive environmental problems created by the industrial model—deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, and the poisoning of the environment by pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

“Enough is enough” is the sane response to this abuse, and it’s the inspiration behind the rapid growth of the Food Sovereignty Movement. Its adherents care about the environment because their lives depend upon it.

One might call it a people’s environmental movement, with the accent on ‘people.’

With millions of supporters, the Food Sovereignty Movement constitutes a vast global network of on-the ground environmental watchdogs, caring for the planet, and developing innovative methods for doing so. Combining U.S. environmentalism’s active networks and rich campaigning experience with food sovereignty’s world-wide people power and global perspective adds up to tremendous potential for growing the Food Sovereignty Movement, protecting the environment and feeding the world." (http://onthecommons.org/node/1192)


Principles

"Food sovereignty’s principles resonate with those of the Slow Food movement and the emphasis on "buying and eating locally." It finds common cause with Community-supported Agriculture and the Sustainable Agriculture movements. There is a very strong "beyond organic" approach, but most importantly, its supporters are pushing governments across the globe for fair trade policies and sustainable eco-economies—so that the women, children and men who produce the food that sustains us can sustain themselves.

Sustainable use and management of natural resources.

Agriculture must work with nature, not against it. Food sovereignty advocates believe that yields high enough to feed the planet can be accomplished through agroecology rather than chemical additives; emphasizing biodiversity, intercropping, local markets, organic cultivation; and prioritizing agriculture for food over fuel production.

Promotion of eco-friendly technologies.

Instead of promoting genetically modified crops, the emphasis should be on preserving our abundant biodiversity. In particular, seeds—the very lifeblood of agriculture—must remain biodiverse and ecologically appropriate, controlled not by corporations, but by family farmers.

Building the eco-economy.

"Pay for services" approaches such as carbon sinks often treat farmers as paid employees rather than sustain their livelihood as farmers. Food sovereignty sees small producers as stewards of the environment, supported holistically through fair pricing, preservation of local markets and economies, and fair access to natural resources such as land and water." (http://onthecommons.org/node/1192)


More Information

See the report from Grassroots International and Food & Water Watch, "Towards a Green Food System," at [1]

Download it at http://www.grassrootsonline.org/files/Towards-Green-Food-System.pdf

Booklet on the movement at [2]