Sustainable Livelihoods

Brazilian Activist from MST Participates in the Brooklyn Food Conference

The Food Sovereignty movement in the United States is well and alive. And thanks to the work of food cooperatives, community supported agriculture (CSA) and local farmers, little by little more neighborhoods and cities are joining this social movement that is reclaiming the right to quality food.

This past weekend, the movement's strengthen was displayed in Brooklyn, NY, where over 2,000 people met in one of the largest U.S. events for Food Sovereignty this year. 

Participants in the Brooklyn Food Conference represented different places and backgrounds in the U.S. food movement. Event speakers included some of the leading voices in the United States, such as social activist Malik Yakini from Detroit, and Raj Patel, the author of Stuffed and Starved.

Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops

A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) found that genetic engineering has not significantly increased crop yields in relation to other agricultural technologies.

In an April 14th, 2009 press release, Doug Sherman, author of the report and biologist in the UCS Food and Environment Program, commented "The biotech industry has spent billions on research and public relations hype, but genetically engineered food and feed crops haven't enabled American farmers to grow significantly more crops per acre of land ... In comparison, traditional breeding continues to deliver better results."

Read the full report here.

Food Security and Fair Trade Coffee

The Oaxaca State Coffee Producers Network (CEPCO), one of Grassroots International's partners in Mexico, works with largely indigenous coffee-growing families to fortify their economic wellbeing. CEPCO has been instrumental in strengthening organic coffee production among members and in diversifying the local economic base in an effort to ensure that local indigenous communities can stay on their traditional collectively owned land.

After Israel's Invasion

Gaza:  War on civilians in the world's largest open-air prison[1]

Update from Gaza

With thanks in part to $80,000 dollars in generous donations made to Grassroots International in response to the Gaza Crisis, our partners in Palestine have begun the process of rebuilding their communities.   

Via Campesina in Haiti: Brazilian Delegation Brings Solidarity and Seeds to the Haitian People

We will be posting updates from the Dessalines Brigade in Haiti. Stay tuned.

Last month, a small delegation of four representatives of Via Campesina-Brazil arrived in Haiti. Their mission is to help the Haitian peasant movement in their efforts to build local sustainable agriculture practices and a popular education curriculum on food sovereignty. Besides solidarity and technical expertise, the delegation also brings agro-ecological seeds produced in agrarian reform settlements in Brazil to share with local families.

Will the New “Green Economy” be Fueled by Unsustainable Agrofuels?

In 2006 Grassroots International received a report from the Social Network for Justice and Human Rights (Rede Social), one of our Brazilian partners, about rapid expansion of agrofuels production based on large scale plantation-style cultivation of sugar cane for ethanol.  We also heard from them about massive expansion of soy plantations and U.S.

Grassroots International Joins with U.S. Allies to Tell the Candidates: "Reform food policy and end the food crisis"

Global food prices have almost doubled in recent years, in large part due to U.S. policies, and now nearly 1 billion people worldwide - including 50 million here in the U.S. - are facing hunger. Keep reading to find out how you can take action for change.

The food crisis is not a crisis in the availability of food.  In fact, there is more than enough food to feed everyone in the world.  Over the last 20 years, world food production has risen steadily at over 2% a year, while the rate of global population growth has dropped to 1.14% a year.  

Livelihood Rights: The Right to Exist

Members of Grassroots International's partner La Via Campesina -- an international network of peasants, indigenous peoples, fishers, pastoralists, women, and youth -- gathered in late June in Jakarta, Indonesia to defend their right to exist, and called for a UN Convention on the Rights of Peasants. (Below, see their final declaration)

Under intense threat from the expansion of agro-fuels in South America and Indonesia, militarization in Colombia and South Korea, and increasing food prices, rural families are voicing a predicament that affects all communities.