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By Daniel Moss
April 2nd, 2008
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:
By Maria Aguiar
March 11th, 2008
This recent article by our friend and colleague George Naylor -- an Iowa corn farmer and the outgoing president of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) -- speaks to all the reasons why we need to fight for Food Sovereignty and against huge agribusinesses here in the United States today!
Take a look and let us know what you think.
February 29th, 2008
Partner press release from Via Campesina
Consumers around the world have seen the prices of staple food dramatically increasing over the past months, creating extreme hardship especially for the poorest communities. Over a year, wheat has doubled in price, maize is nearly 50% higher than a year ago. However, there is no crisis of production. Statistics show that cereals' production has never been as high as in 2007 (1).
There is no doubt that Planet Earth is gravely ill due to the destructive actions of corporate and financial capitalist elites, responsible for global environmental destruction and climactic changes, as well as the privatization of all forms of life. We stand at a crossroads: we either change the paradigm of current civilization or human and planetary life will be destroyed.
Today, the news from Europe is setting a promise of what's to come in 2008 for food sovereignty and real, sustainable energy. We received a press release today from the La Via Campesina that a hunger strike led by Jose Bové and the 15 other anti-GMO campaigners that the French government has sided with them. They will ban the only genetically modified (GM) corn (MON 810) legalized in France.
The U.S. Senate ignored the wishes of 4 million Peruvian farmers and countless numbers of American family farmers, ranchers, and consumers earlier this month when it voted to create a new Peru Free Trade Agreement (Peru FTA). The agreement, modeled on failed free trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA, will allow American agribusinesses to dump tons of below-cost commodities such as corn and soybeans into the Peruvian economy, thereby creating unfair competition for Peruvian farmers. It will also allow Peru to flood the U.S. market with cheap fruits and vegetables at a time when American family farmers are trying to build sustainable food systems by offering affordable local produce to consumers.
In times of war and institutionalized terrorism, examples of solidarity between people in the United States and the Global South give us hope for a better world. In fact, it is only through solidarity with people that we will never actually meet that we can build the "global movement for social justice".
Here is a case that has re-energized us at Grassroots International this end of year.
Last spring, Grassroots made a brief presentation to students of Boston's Philbrick School about our work to support rural communities throughout the globe to reclaim their rights to land, water and food.
Wisconsin based Family Farm Defenders (FFD) is a leading member of Grassroots International's ally National Family Farm Coalition. FFD was formed in 1994 and works to create a family farmer-controlled and consumer oriented food system, and has been a leading ally of farm workers and minority farmers including indigenous farmers. John Peck, the executive director of FFD recently wrote an article warning against the threat of agrofuels for family farmers in the Global South and here in the U.S.
Sin maíz no hay país is the resounding clarion call given by Grassroots International’s Mexican partners, grantees and their allies in rolling out the National Campaign in Defense of Food Sovereignty and the Revitalization of Rural Mexico.
Corn is indigenous to Mexico, and the alliance of peasant, farm worker, indigenous peoples, fisher, consumer, environmental and human rights groups and other organizations that came together to declare sin maíz no hay país are making the point that corn is intrinsically tied to the very idea and identity of Mexico.
This report, which documents the human and environmental costs of the industiral biofuel model in Latin America, is the result of a seminar about the expansion of sugarcane plantations in Central and South America. The seminar, which took place in São Paulo, Brazil, from February 26-28, 2007 was organized by Brazil's Pastoral Land Commission and Grassroots' Partner, The Social Network for Justice and Human Rights.