Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Food Sovereignty

Food Sovereignty is the aspiration of billions of human beings to have the truly democratic, just, sustainable and supreme control over their food and agriculture and to have a natural and harmonious relationship with nature and each other. This doctrine or manifesto is often credited to the International Peasant's Movement, La Via Campesina. My research, has shown however, that its origin, including use of the phrase, food sovereignty, lies in the indigenous communities of human society, including North American indigenous communities. (Interview with Robert Frio of Victoria Island, Canada at the La Via Campesina People's Forum on Climate Change, Cancun Mexico, UN Climate Change Forum, Decemeber 2010. )

International Peasant's Movement Seven Principles of Food Sovereignty (taken from Family Farm Defenders)

•Food: A Basic Human Right.
Healthy, Nutritious, Culturally Appropriate Food is a basic human right guaranteed by all societies to their members regardless of ability to pay but as the necessary sustenance for life. Food is foremost a source of human life and energy, not a commodity to be traded for accumulating of wealth, profit and power.

• Agrarian reform.
Agrarian reform guaranteeing all people, regardless of nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion and class access to land, credit, training, information, and technology and a life with dignity.

• Fair Trade.
Societies must recognize food first as a necessity for life rather than an item of wealth through trade for some. Societies must prioritize food production for domestic consumptions as a source of life over a good to be traded for money. Food imports must not displace local production nor depress prices.

• End Corporate Domination.
End corporate domination of our food and agriculture from what we eat to what we grow and to how we grow it.

• Social Justice and Peace.
Food and agriculture must not be used as a weapon or tool for exploitation and oppression of the people.

• Democratic control.
Peasants, small farmers and all of us must have truly democratic power over our own societies’ food and agriculture.

• In Harmony with Nature.
Food sovereignty envisions an ecological agriculture in harmony with nature which cherishes and sustains our earth and ecosystems. Genetic material in seeds and livestock breeds are used wisely and with respect for the generations of indigenous peoples who developed them. We farm and eat in harmony with urn earth and its ecosystems, preserving its resources, land, water, seeds and livestock breeds, and soil.

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