Food Sovereignty in Canada

Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems

Edited by Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Nettie Wiebe and Hannah Wittman  

Paperback $32.00

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.

In case studies of practical action, Food Sovereignty in Canada provides an analysis of indigenous food sovereignty, orderly marketing, community gardens, the political engagement of nutritionists, experiences with urban agriculture and the strengthening of links between rural and urban communities. It also highlights policy-related challenges to building community-based agriculture and food systems that are ecologically sustainable and socially just. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in holistic, healthy and sustainable food production and consumption.

  • Food
  • ISBN: 9781552664438
  • September 2011
  • 232 Pages
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Section 1 - Why Should Canada Pursue Food Sovereignty? - Nurturing Food Sovereignty in Canada (Nettie Wiebe & Kevin Wipf)
  • The State of Agriculture in Canada and the Need for Food Sovereignty (Darrin Qualman)
  • Food Sovereignty and the National Farmers Union: Grassroots Issues and Challenges (Naomi Beingessner)
  • Women Farmers Define a Food Sovereignty Policy for Canada (Annette Aurélie Desmarais, Carla Roppel & Diane Martz)
  • Section 2 - Implementing Food Sovereignty - Community Nutrition Practice and Research: Integrating a Food Sovereignty Approach (Rachel Engler-Stringer)
  • Food Secure Canada: Where Agriculture, Environment, Health, Food and Justice Intersect (Cathleen Kneen)
  • Growing Community: Community Gardens as a Local Practice of Food Sovereignty (Yolanda Hansen)
  • Food Sovereignty in the Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario (Harriet Friedmann)
  • Indigenous Food Sovereignty: A Model for Social Learning (Dawn Morrison)
  • The Limits of Farmer Control: Food Sovereignty and Conflicts over the Canadian Wheat Board (André Magnan)
  • The Potential for Food Sovereignty in British Columbia: Food Regime Contradictions and Local Resistance (Hannah Wittman & Herb Barbolet)


  • 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.

  • Nettie Wiebe

    St. Andrew’s College

    Nettie Wiebe is an organic farmer and professor of ethics at St. Andrew’s College, University of Saskatchewan. She was Women’s President of the National Farmers Union and then served four years as the President of the NFU - the first and only woman to have led a national farmers’ organization in Canada - as well as a member of La Via Campesina’s International Coordinating Commission (ICC). She is actively involved in local and national politics in Canada, and her research focuses on agrarian feminism and the intersection of environmental, agricultural and women’s issues in rural communities.

  • Hannah Wittman

    Simon Fraser University

    Hannah Wittman is an assistant professor of sociology and Latin American studies at Simon Fraser Univeristy. She conducts collaborative research on local food systems, farmer networks and agrarian citizenship in British Columbia, and in Latin America with Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) and La Via Campesina. Her research interests are in environmental sociology, agrarian citizenship and agrarian social movements.

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