National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC)
All people have the right to decide what they eat and to ensure that food in their community is healthy and accessible for everyone. This is the basic principle behind food sovereignty. If you want to support domestic food security through the production of healthy food at a fair price, and you believe that family farmers and fishers should have the first right to local and regional markets, then food sovereignty is for you.
By Sara Mersha
September 24th, 2012
The Farm Bill presented Congress with an opportunity to change some of the fundamental structures of our food system, by creating a farmer-owned reserve and establishing a price floor that reflects farmers’ true cost of production. It may not surprise many of us to know that Congress did not live up to this responsibility.
By Sara Mersha
March 17th, 2011
Farmers demonstrated the strength of their solidarity with pro-union forces in Wisconsin through the creative force of a “tractorcade,” and the inspiring power of their words and actions. Grassroots International allies from the Family Farm Defenders and the National Family Farm Coalition played prominent roles in the effort to show support to Wisconsin workers.
Grassroots International’s global partners like the Via Campesina have frequently told us: “You have to work hard to change things in the U.S. for our hard work to bear real fruit.” In other words, for another world to be possible, another U.S. is necessary.
By Alisa Pimentel
Among the almost 20,000 activists gathered in Detroit for the US Social Forum this week are several Grassroots International partners and allies. Grassroots International regularly provides funding to our partners and allies to participate in movement-building and leadership development gatherings.
On the campaign trail, President Obama vowed to “stand up to corporate mega-farm lobbyists who have long had too much influence over rural and agriculture policies.” But now he’s nominated to two key posts the same ‘Big Ag’ industry insiders he previously promised to oppose: Islam Siddiqui and Roger Beachy.
Take action now to tell President Obama to keep his campaign promise to stand up to corporate agriculture and withdraw his support for Siddiqui and Beachy.
At a gathering of food and trade activists from around the United States and Canada, Grassroots International's partner, the Via Campesina, receieved the 2009 Food Sovereignty Prize for its relentless struggle for the rights of peasants and small producers of the world and against the disastrous neoliberal system of industrial agriculture. The award was received during the annual conference of the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) held in Des Moines, Iowa, October 10-13.
Even though I grew up in Missouri, my first introduction to agriculture did not occur until my college days in Northfield, Minnesota, in the early 1980s. Depending on which way the wind blew, my college (Carleton) was filled either with the toasted grain aroma from the Malt-o-Meal factory or the smell of the surrounding dairy farms. Sadly, the dairy farms began to lose out in more than just the scent in the air. I remember clearly my sophomore year when a big stoic man stood up at church and, with tears in his eyes, told us that the last of his dairy cows were sold in an attempt to pay off farm creditors. Thus began my awareness of corporate farming, agricultural and trade policy and their devastating impact on families and communities.
Ben F. Burkett is president of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) in the U.S., and a cooperative-marketing-specialist member of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund. He was in Mozambique attending the 5th International Conference of La Via Campesina as a delegate of the NFFC. La Via Campesina is an organization of organizations, part of a global movement of peasants, family farmers, indigenous and landless people. The interview was conducted (and later edited) by Nic Paget-Clarke for In Motion Magazine on October 22, 2008 during the Via Campesina conference. The conference was held at the FRELIMO Party School in Matola, Mozambique.
Family farmers and other food justice activists will mark April 17, the International Day of Peasant's Struggle, with a protest against corporate speculation on agricultural commodities which is behind the global food crisis now threatening the livelihoods of millions of farmers. This action is in solidarity with La Via Campesina, the world's largest umbrella movement of family farmers, Grassroots International's ally the National Family Farm Coalition, rural workers and indigenous peoples.
Specific demands include: