Myrto from Cyprus

A few months ago, YFoEE’s Food and Agriculture Working Group decided to refocus their work and launched the Food Sovereignty campaign. The campaign encompasses a wide range of topics ranging from Community Supported Agriculture to fighting against mega-mergers and land grabbing. The choice of “Food Sovereignty” as the focus of the new campaign, arised from the need to accommodate for the diverse actions and campaigns of local groups around the network. The concept of food sovereignty was, however, still very new to most of us. To help us unpick the term, Kaya Thomas from Germany’s Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), a farmer’s association working on the issue, visited our summer camp and delivered a two day workshop.

“Food Sovereignty is the right of local peoples to control their own food systems, including markets, ecological resources, food cultures, and production modes.” – Declaration of Nyéléni, SélinguéMali, 27 February 2007

Climate Justice Now! Photo by Alba Rose.
Climate Justice Now! Photo by Alba Rose.

The workshop started by discussing the Food and Agriculture Organisation definition of Food Security. This is the term often used by national and international actors, as well as big agri-businesses to create a feeling of urgency in the need of providing food for the people. It is often believed that this need can only be covered by big corporations, yet U.N. research proves that 80% of the food production comes from family farming. It is therefore quite alarming that this definition does not include anything about the right to control one’s food systems.

Food sovereignty workshop. Photo by Alba Rose.
Food sovereignty workshop. Photo by Alba Rose.

Food sovereignty has this right at its core. To move away from the current system and towards food sovereignty we ought to impact all levels of power. These are:

  • Personal
  • Activist/support group
  • Community
  • National
  • EU
  • Global

The participants of the workshop worked on ideas for influencing their affinity groups and local community all the way to changing the global paradigm. From raising awareness and supporting local producers, to challenging policies, and campaigning for the Declaration for Peasant Rights, we have the power to take back control of our food and food systems, and ensure that peasants from every corner of the world have their right respected.

Food sovereignty now! Photo by Alba Rose.
Food sovereignty now! Photo by Alba Rose.

If you want to know more about our Food Sovereignty campaign and the Food and Agriculture Working Group, contact us at kwhitaker@foe-scotland.org.uk