Annette Aurélie Desmarais\
How the National Farmers Union Resists Agribusiness and Creates Our New Food Future
Who grows the food we eat? How important is it that family farms are viable in Canada today and in the future? How do viable family farms help determine the safety, diversity and sustainability of Canada’s food systems? Why is this important to those of us who do not farm?
Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems
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.
Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community
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.
Globalization and the Power of Peasants
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.