International Food Sovereignty Day is October 16


Sunday, October 16, 2016

International Food Sovereignty Day, October 16th

October 16th marks the celebration of International Food Sovereignty Day, a day for recognizing and uplifting the voices and efforts of the resilient small-holder and peasant farmers who still provide over 70% of the world’s food supply[1] as they grapple with challenges ranging from the devastation wrought by climate change, inequitable trade agreements, and land grabs to the financialization and corporate control of the food system. Originally defined by the peasant group La Via Campesina, the food sovereignty movement has grown beyond a particular approach to agroecology. Beyond emphasizing sustainability and the health of the land, it provides a new foundation for reimagining all aspects of the food system to uplift the voices of women and the most marginalized, ensure equity in trade and distribution networks, and account for waste management in consumption.

Each year, the Annual Food Sovereignty Prize is awarded both domestically and internationally to outstanding organizations working at the grassroots level to promote the democratization of the food system and challenge systemic abuses. This year we congratulate the Farmworker Association of Florida and The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa for winning in the domestic and international categories, respectively, as they embody the tenants of the movement both in spirit and practice.

Each year, the Annual Food Sovereignty Prize is awarded both domestically and internationally to outstanding organizations working at the grassroots level to promote the democratization of the food system and challenge systemic abuses. This year we congratulate the Farmworker Association of Florida and The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa for winning in the domestic and international categories, respectively, as they embody the tenants of the movement both in spirit and practice.

Food Sovereignty in the Context of Othering and Belonging at the Haas Institute

The Haas Institute, founded upon the basic desire to overcome processes of Othering to promote Belonging in society, wholeheartedly supports the ethos of the food sovereignty movement. Food sovereignty’s emphasis on a people’s right to determine their own food systems appeals to an inherent promotion of Belonging and moves beyond the repeated analytical and practical failings of the food security paradigm that has engendered the marginalization of people across the full range of human differences through processes of Othering.

Our Global Food Sovereignty Project

The Haas Institute’s Global Justice Program celebrates International Food Sovereignty Day by announcing its Global Food Sovereignty Project, which will debut this winter. Through an analysis of select case studies, this project will explore how the agency of local communities can be reclaimed and expanded to create alternative food futures that combat not only the financialization of global food systems but also the increasing corporate control and consolidation.

The Haas Institute’s Global Justice Program celebrates International Food Sovereignty Day by announcing its Global Food Sovereignty Project, which will debut this winter. Through an analysis of select case studies, this project will explore how the agency of local communities can be reclaimed and expanded to create alternative food futures that combat not only the financialization of global food systems but also the increasing corporate control and consolidation.

To best capture these diverse sources where issues of food and equity meet, this project utilizes La Via Campesina’s definition of food sovereignty that has been articulated into Seven Pillars, which address issues ranging from gender and economic opportunity to resource management and an expanded appreciation for the sociality of food.

This project aims to popularize food sovereignty as the premier analytical framework for addressing the systemic crises endemic the global industrialized food system, while adding to the critique of ‘food security’ based approaches. The project will culminate in both the release of a report featuring the case study participants and the launch of a new interactive website specifically dedicated to visualizing and mapping food sovereignty projects around the globe, in order to increase the popular accessibility and exposure of the movement.

[1] Karla D. Maass Wolfenson “Coping with the food and agriculture challenge: smallholder’s agenda” July 2013 http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/nr/sustainability_pathways/docs/Coping_with_food_and_agriculture_challenge__Smallholder_s_agenda_Final.pdf