What Place for International Trade in Food Sovereignty?
International agricultural commodity trade is central to the livelihoods of millions of farmers across the globe, and to most countries’ food security strategies. Yet global trade policies are contributing to food insecurity and are undermining livelihoods.
International agricultural commodity trade is central to the livelihoods of millions of farmers across the globe, and to most countries’ food security strategies. Yet global trade policies are contributing to food insecurity and are undermining livelihoods. Food Sovereignty emerged in part as a mobilization in resistance to the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture and its imposition of multilateral disciplines on domestic agriculture policy. While not explicitly rejecting trade, there is a strong, albeit understated, resistance to international commodity trade that risks marginalizing broader trade concerns in the visioning of what food sovereignty comprises. Our paper argues that trade is important to the realization of food security and to the livelihoods of small-scale producers, including peasants active in the Food Sovereignty movement, yet it remains underexplored in food sovereignty discourse and that further developing of its position on trade is strategically important.
Kim Burnett is SSHRC-funded doctoral student with the University of Waterloo’s Global Governance program.
Her research focuses on the governance of agricultural production and trade, examining how Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty challenge neoliberal structures of agricultural production and trade, and with what efficacy. She has authored a forthcoming publication with Geopolitics on Fair Trade and Food Sovereignty responses to governance opportunities after the global food crisis.
Sophia Murphy is a widely published policy analyst and 2013 Trudeau Foundation Scholar who will begin her PhD at the University of British Columbia in September.
Her policy analysis is on food, agriculture, and international development. Recent work includes analysis of food price volatility in international markets, the effects of trade rules, and corporate concentration on food systems. She is a senior advisor to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Sophia has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and an MSc from the London School of Economics in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries
Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue, 14 - 15 September, New Haven.