Food Sovereignty

What We Fight For

  1. Building support for a growing international food sovereignty movement.
  2. Empowered family farmers who can advocate for their right to food sovereignty on a global scale.
  3. An alternative to our broken food and farm systems, as envisioned by the Food From Family Farms Act.
  4. The representation of international peasant struggles in the United States through La Via Campesina.
  5. Shining a spotlight on the global food crisis and the U.S. policy reforms that are necessary to stop it.

What Is Food Sovereignty?
Food Sovereignty is the right of communities to choose where and how their food is produced, as well as what food they consume, and the food sovereignty movement seeks to guarantee these basic rights for communities around the world. Fighting against corporate control of agriculture, family farmers and fisherman are leading the way to change in the food system. Decades of inequitable farm and trade policy has devastated the fabric of family farm agriculture and rural communities in the U.S. and around the world. As a result, U.S. Farm Policy has led to the current global food crisis and its reform is essential to rebuilding a sustainable family farm agriculture system and a healthful, safe food supply.

La Via Campesina
Via Campesina is an international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth, and agricultural workers.  It is an autonomous, pluralist, and multicultural movement, independent of any political, economic, or other type of affiliation.  Farmers from four different continents founded La Via Campesina in 1993 in Belgium and launched the idea of “Food Sovereignty” at the World Food Summit in 1996.  La Via Campesina represents about 200 million farmers and defends the values and basic interests of NFFC members.

Agroecology is one of the main agricultural theories that must be used to solve climate change and hunger.  The core principles of agroecology include recycling nutrients and energy on the farm instead of relying on external inputs, diversifying species by space and time, integrating crops and livestock, focusing on interactions of the whole system instead of one particular species, and using methods that are farmer driven and tested, not top down.  Farmers who believe in food sovereignty support and practice agroecology as a means of producing food that empowers farmers, increases equity, and enhances food security.

Food for Thought and Action: A Food Sovereignty Curriculum
Our global food system is terribly broken. Together, we can fix it! The curriculum is divided into four modules: one each for consumers, faith and anti-hunger groups, environmentalists, and farmers. This collection of education-for-action exercises and fact sheets has been developed by Grassroots International and the National Family Farm Coalition to help build the food sovereignty movement in the United States.

For more information and to download the free curriculum, please visit Grassroots International’s website here.

Additional Resources

  • Building Sustainable Futures Platform: Working with other fair trade, international development, advocacy, environmental, and faith-based organizations, NFFC helped craft a policy platform on how to build a path towards sovereignty for all farmers around the world.
  • 7 Principles of Food Sovereignty: Video by members of NFFC.
  • Introduction to Food Sovereignty: Basic principles of food sovereignty from WhyHunger.
  • Towards Food Sovereignty- World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture: Report about the connection between increased rural poverty and food insecurity and rapid agricultural trade liberalization facilitated by the World Trade Organization.
  • Global Movements for Food Justice: Report from IATP describing La Via Campesina’s fight for a food system reflecting ideals of ethics and justice and quest to develop socioeconomic, ecological, and political autonomy for small farmers.
  • U.N. General Assembly on the Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food: On April 6, 2009, farmers, community groups, researchers, government officials, and UN agency representatives gathered to discuss the global food crisis, and the UN-endorsed right to food.
    • Statement by Olivier De Schutter, Former Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
    • Statement by Mr. Henry Saragih, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina
  • Our Seeds, Our Future: Report on the positive projects and experiments carried out on different continents by the organizations of La Via Campesina.  This document describes the rights of farmers and local communities to their own seeds, resources, and food production methods.
  • Food Sovereignty- Reclaiming the Global Food System: Report from War on Want explains the state of the current global food system and illustrates how food sovereignty can be a solution to the problems created by corporate industrial agriculture.