Via Campesina (LVC) launched the idea of “Food Sovereignty” at the World Food Summit in 1996. In 2007 the Declaration on Food Sovereignty was endorsed in Mali.
“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through sustainable methods and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It develops a model of small scale sustainable production benefiting communities and their environment. It puts the aspirations, needs and livelihoods of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. Food sovereignty prioritizes local food production and consumption. It gives a country the right to protect its local producers from cheap imports and to control production. It ensures that the rights to use and manage lands, territories, water, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those who produce food and not of the corporate sector. Therefore the implementation of genuine agrarian reform is one of the top priorities of the farmer’s movement. Food sovereignty now appears as one of the most powerful response to the current food, poverty and climate crises.”
SPP since 2005 started raising awareness about food sovereignty through information, popular and political education sessions with groups we worked with at the time. The result was twofold: 1) A full embrace of the “concept” as it connected with their daily lived realities and struggles and 2) The Agrarian for Food Sovereignty Campaign (FSC) was born.
The Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (FSC)
This movement brought together rural dwellers, farm workers, landless women and men and small scale farmers and in 2013/14 became a member of this global people’s movement (LVC) that bring together social sectors such as the urban poor, environmental and consumer groups, women associations, fisher-folks, pastoralists and many others. It is also recognized by several institutions and governments.
SPP supports people’s right to produce food in ways that are politically, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. We aim to make communities gain control over their local food systems through local agroecological production which allows people to consume healthy food whilst contributing to the local economy. We do this through training and exchanges. Production is for household use primarily, while surplus could be sold for additional income or donated to vulnerable groups as an act of solidarity.
Creating and supporting agroecological learning spaces led by farmers is central in our work to advance and promote agroecology. These learning spaces result in increased knowledge and skills of producers through horizontal learning, farmer-to-farmer extension as well as training and research. We envision a movement or network of local, provincial and national agroecological producers that resist the dominant and unsustainable neoliberal model of farming, promotes an alternative that is based on solidarity and cooperation that is environmentally sustainable and which uses renewable resources for production.