This article explores the various meanings of food sovereignty developed by distinct actors in Canada to better understand existing challenges, tensions, convergences and divergences in developing a national movement for food sovereignty.
In the era of “contemporary colonialism,” food sovereignty for indigenous peoples is a necessary struggle for cultural survival. In a wealthy country like Canada, Indigenous populations are deprived of basic necessities needed to maintain health, living in a state that institutionalizes poverty.
Drawing from ethnographic data gathered over the last year, the paper you're about to read is an incipient attempt to trace a few of these threads through to an end-point, or at least a good point to pause.
Together with building thriving and functionally integrated farm agroecologies and peasant-controlled economic practices, we need to pay serious attention to things that are normally considered beyond 'agriculture sector.' Very often, the crisis of agriculture is presented in terms of the spread of technologies that take farming away from the control of peasants and entangle them in relations of dependency.
Food sovereignty identifies the state and capital as complicit in the inequities and injustices in the corporate food regime, including and especially the alienation between producers from consumers. Among food sovereignty’s many demands, is a call to a return power and control in the food system to producers and consumers through decentering the power of transnational capital. The literature on food sovereignty lacks engagement with theories of sovereignty as an explanatory resource, and thus strategies to achieve its aims may lack key insights into political power.
Should the principles of food sovereignty be folded into the construction and enforcement of labor and employment laws? How can workers´ rights as envisioned by the ILO be coupled with fundamental precepts of food sovereignty in everyday working life at the site of food production?
Hilda E. Kurtz in collaboration with Heather Retberg, Bonnie Preston
01 January 2013
In 2011, a group of food and farmer activists in Maine set off a maelstrom of political activity in and around the food sovereignty movement when they drafted and placed on town meeting warrants a Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance. Intended to maintain the viability of small farms in a struggling rural economy, these ordinances exempt direct transactions of farm food from licensure and inspection.
Though women play a greater role than ever as food producers. they face obstacles such that they are often relegated to a form of agricultural production that is characterized by its low productivity and that is geared towards own consumption
Around the world, rural social movements and urban food activist-citizens have proposed that food sovereignty has the potential to be the foundation of an alternative food system that can transcend the deep-seated social, economic and ecological contradictions of the global food economy.
What are the class-differentiated implications of food sovereignty in a zone of ecological crisis—Bangladesh’s coastal Khulna district? Much land in this deltaic zone that had previously been employed for various forms of peasant production has been overrun and transformed by the introduction of brackish-water shrimp aquaculture.
Fisheries systems are widely considered to be ‘in crisis’ in both economic and ecological terms, a considerable concern given their significance to food security, international trade and employment the world over. The most common explanation for the crisis suggests that it is caused by weak and illiberal property regimes.
Using the case study of the 2012 illegal occupation of farmland owned by the University of California (“Occupy the Farm”), this paper investigates the promises and practical limits of constructing food sovereignty through direct action in the global North. Many grassroots activists find inspiration in the work of the Landless Peasant Movement (MST), La Via Campesina, and the concept(s) of Food Sovereignty (FS); many also express desires to transcend the market/state dichotomy through the creation of “commons”.
This paper presents outlines of a theoretical approach to food systems that attempts to decenter “food” in food-related research, placing social life as the central point of departure for a critical analysis of food systems and the search for revolutionary alternatives.
While many contemporary rural social movements once argued for increased industrial farming inputs and machinery for their members, the past few years have seen an accelerating shift toward the promotion of agroecology as an alternative to the so-called Green Revolution.
What are farmers’ experiences with newly established seed markets for improved varieties in Sahelian West Africa? Market-oriented development approaches frame agricultural systems in dichotomous terms of modern or traditional, efficient or inefficient, and do not account for ongoing learning and adaptation by farmers