The growing movement for food sovereignty
22nd Aug 2011
An inspiring moment last week, as around 400 people from around Europe met in Krems, Austria to plan for a European-wide movement for "food sovereignty".
The final declaration of the Krems forum defines food sovereignty as "the right of peoples to democratically define their own food and agricultural systems without harming other people or the environment".
It is subtly and profoundly different from "food security" - the dominant paradigm for tackling the problem of hunger and food production, exemplified in the "green revolution" and fossil fuel intensive, large scale, industrial farming. While crop yields have increased, around a billion people are malnourished. The dominant food system is one that aims primarily to make money rather than feed people.
What is refreshing is that these moves to establish a European campaign for food sovereignty follow in the footsteps of the peasants and farmers of the global South. The movement for food sovereignty originated in the global South and is a bold attempt to reclaim the global narrative on food production.
An inspiring video from the global peasants movement La Via Campesina explains the history and power of this idea whose time has come: