By Phyllis Robinson of Equal Exchange
July 7th, 2008
Grassroots International ally Phyllis Robinson of Equal Exchange recently wrote about the potential wedge driven between advocates of local foods (often called "localvores" in the current vernacular) and those working for Fair Trade. As she points out, Fair Trade and Buy Local advocates share many important concerns about the ways we can take back our food system so that it works best for small farmers and consumers, both locally and throughout the world – developing systems that promote food sovereignty. For more information, read her article.
To the conference organizers (FAO, CGIAR, IFAD, WFP); the Heads of States; the General Secretary of the United Nations: bear responsibility to protect the Palestinian people who are exposed to poverty and hunger by the Israeli occupying forces.
Agribusiness Transnational Corporations (TNCs) Create World Food Crisis; Peasants Seize Back Their Rights
April 14th, 2008
Partner press release from Via Campesina
The world food crisis is starting to appear in its real picture this year. During the last decades hunger was "hiding" in rural or slump areas. Now the number is increasing and many more people cannot stand it anymore. Food riots appear and queues of hungry people are back in many part of the world.
ETC Group, a Grassroots International ally based in Canada, has released a report highlighting the failure of governments to manage their multilateral food and agriculture agencies.
ETC is calling on the United Nations to gather the leaders of such agencies to hammer out a plan for the future. It says the meeting is necessary because of numerous threats facing the world's agricultural systems:
What Does Heating Homes in New York City with Biodiesel Have to do with Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?
Many of us think we’re doing the climate and the environment a big favor when we consider meeting our liquid fuel needs through biodiesel. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s time to think again.
Agribusiness is seeing dollar signs as cities and states across the country consider using biodiesel to fuel municipal vehicle fleets and heat homes and businesses. In New York City, over a million households depend on petroleum heating oil to stay warm every winter. Legislation currently wending its way through City Council proposes adding biodiesel to future supplies.
But where does this biodiesel come from and at what environmental cost?
Grassroots International is pleased to highlight "The Story of Stuff ," a newly-released, highly informative and entertaining Web video that documents the destructive impacts of consumerism and waste. The video features activist Annie Leonard taking viewers through the process of creating a consumer good - from the extraction of materials to the disposal. Check it out but beware: Your trash will never look the same.
It’s becoming apparent that climate change is negatively affecting farmers around the world. Erratic weather patterns force farmers to find new ways of growing crops, but sometimes people who work the land are helpless in the face of droughts or excessive rains. When farmers are unable to adapt to changes in climate, local food shortages affect whole communities.
A recent background paper by the Via Campesina summarizes how industrial-scale agriculture fuels climate change and thereby threatens small-scale farmers. But the paper also outlines how many farmers around the world are helping to slow climate change through the practice of sustainable grazing, the use of solar power, and other farm-based endeavors. You can read the background paper here.
Nusa Dua, Bali, 16 Dec (Martin Khor) -- The Bali Climate Change Conference concluded dramatically one day late on Saturday (15 December) afternoon after a dramatic day of events. The day (as the night before) was filled with the tension of deal making and deal breaking.
It saw tempers rising to boiling point, an accusation of mismanagement by the Secretariat that led to its top official taking leave temporarily in tears, a direct intervention of the UN Secretary-General and the Indonesian President to appeal to the countries to make a final deal, a seemingly recalcitrant United States holding the entire meeting to ransom, before several dramatic and angry appeals led finally to its announcement that it would "join the consensus."