Annette Aurélie Desmarais

Annette Aurelie Desmarais was a farmer for 14 years. She has a MA in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and received a PhD in Geography from the University of Calgary. She is currently Associate Professor in the International Studies Program at the University of Regina. Her key areas of research are food sovereignty, globalization and agrarian change, rural social movements and social justice, development theory and practice, gender and international development. She is currently involved in on-going research with the international peasant and farm movement, La Vía Campesina.

Annette’s book La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants was nominated for the Chadwick F. Alger Award and the Lionel Gelber Prize; it has been published in French, Spanish and Italian. She was awarded the Eric Wolf Prize by the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS) for the article entitled “The Vía Campesina: Consolidating an International Peasant and Farm Movement.”

Annette is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Journal of Peasant Studies and the Editorial Board of Human Geography. She is a Research Associate with the Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano (CECCAM), Mexico City. Annette is also on the Advisory Committee of the Centre Europe - Tiers Monde (CETIM, Geneva) and the Resource Rights Advisory Committee-Grassroots International Resource Rights for All, and is an Advisor to the International Programme Committee of the National Farmers Union.

  • Food Sovereignty in Canada

    Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems

    Edited by Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Nettie Wiebe and Hannah Wittman     September 2011

    Contemporary Canadian agricultural and food policies are contributing to the current global food crisis: the industrialized, high-input, export-driven agricultural production sector, coupled with concentrated corporate processing and retailing, are ecologically unsustainable, increasingly unaffordable, unhealthy and socially unjust. Employing an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach, Food Sovereignty in Canada explores how communities all over the country are actively engaged in implementing alternative agricultural and food models within the framework of food sovereignty – taking control over food-producing resources, markets and agricultural policy. This framework offers Canadian citizens, researchers and policymakers the opportunity to build alternative agricultural and food models that are less environmentally damaging and that keep farmers on the land while ensuring that those living in cities have access to healthy and safe food. Achieving food sovereignty requires conceptual and practical changes, reshaping menus, farming, communities, relationships, values and policy, but, as the authors clearly demonstrate, the urgent work of building food sovereignty in Canada is well under way.

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  • Food Sovereignty

    Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community

    Edited by Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Nettie Wiebe and Hannah Wittman     September 2010

    Advocating a practical, radical change to the way much of our food system currently operates, this book argues that food sovereignty is the means to achieving a system that will provide for the food needs of all people while respecting the principles of environmental sustainability, local empowerment and agrarian citizenship. The current high input, industrialized, market-driven food system fails on all these counts. The UN-endorsed goal of food security is becoming increasingly distant as indicated by the growing levels of hunger in the world, especially among marginalized populations in both the North and South. The authors of this book describe the recent emergence and the parameters of an alternative system, food sovereignty, that puts the levers of food control in the hands of those who are both hungry and produce the world’s food - peasants and family farmers, not corporate executives. As the authors show in both conceptual and case study terms, food sovereignty promises not only increased production of food, but also food that is safe, food that reaches those who are in the most need, and agricultural practises that respect the earth.

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  • La Vía Campesina

    Globalization and the Power of Peasants

    By Annette Aurélie Desmarais     December 2006

    In 1993, 46 farm leaders from various countries met in Mons, Belgium, determined to develop a strategy to challenge the devastation caused to their communities by a neoliberal international economic agenda. Over the next decade they and millions of peasants and small-scale farmers around the world used La Vía Campesina to forge a powerful and radical force of opposition. Where did they find the capacity and strength to challenge multinational agribusiness corporations and international institutions whose power and influence increasingly dictate national government policy? This book accompanies La Vía Campesina in a struggle to keep people on the land, producing food and culture, and building viable communities.

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