While food sovereignty has begun making promising inroads into the existing corporate food system, it is still working through what, exactly, sovereignty means. At a basic level, sovereignty implies boundary-making – including some groups while excluding others -- yet food sovereignty movements often call for growing cooperation and interdependence.
A case study about indigenous seed preservation movement led by Korean Women Peasants' Association (KWPA) working for the food sovereignty as an alternative to the current global food system. In particular, it examines primarily on how peasant women's knowledge, which had been looked down on was reinterpreted into the main mechanism of the food sovereignty movement by KWPA as one of the major points of their movement.
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”.
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.
Since 2001 the Bolivarian government of Venezuela has embarked on an ambitious agrarian reform project aimed at establishing food sovereignty and reducing overwhelming import dependency. This project has centered mainly on the reconstitution of the national agriculture system, which was destroyed over the course of the twentieth century by resource extraction, the petroleum economy and waves of neoliberal trade policy.
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.
Max Spoor, Natalia Mamonova, Oane Visser, Alexander Nikulin
01 January 2013
In this paper we argue that Russian discourses on and practices of food sovereignty strongly diverge from the global understanding of this concept. We distinguish two approaches to food and agriculture that are crucial for understanding food sovereignty à la Russe.
California is a land of contradictions. It is known as the breadbasket of the nation, but farmland is disappearing with alarming speed. Crop and ranch lands are falling out of production at a rate of one square mile every four days between 1984 and 2008.
Biotechnology has become the central form of technology in global agriculture since the neoliberal reformulation of global capitalism in the 1980s. Powerful transnational corporations have emerged as the major promoters of transgenic technology (a form of advanced biotechnology) in the global South. The Indian democratic developmental state (which has invested in biotechnology research since the mid-1980s) has its own interests regarding transgenic technology.
Characterizing food sovereignty and neoliberal food production ideologies as dichotomous and oppositional, the first as positive and enriching and the second as negative and impoverishing, has given the food sovereignty movement some heuristic heft. However, presenting these two approaches as universal ideal types may overlook the diverse contexts they engage.
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?
As world food prices threaten expanding urban populations, there is a greater need for poor people to have access to and claims over how and where food is produced and distributed in cities. This is especially the case in marginalised urban settings. The global movement for food sovereignty has been one attempt to reclaim rights and participation in the food system and challenge corporate food regimes.
Any reasonable vision of food sovereignty must necessarily encompass what might be called “seed sovereignty,” a condition which farmers have enjoyed for most of human history but ofwhich they have been recently dispossessed.
Margarita Fernandez, V. Ernesto Méndez, Christopher Bacon
01 January 2013
Food sovereignty has recently gained momentum in social movements, farmer cooperatives and NGOs, as a framework that places farmer’s and nature’s rights as central to food and agricultural policy. Food sovereignty’s strength is that it outlines an alternative policy to the contemporary global agro-industrial food system.
The new paradigm of food sovereignty offers a series of alternatives to the neoliberal development mode. It also offers some answers to the emerging food question by proposing solutions to reduce dependency on purchased food or aid, focusing on territory, community, autonomy, sustainability, ecology and nutrition.
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.