2 Food Sovereignty
han one billion people, an increase of over 25 percen in he number of people wihou enough food since he mid 1990s (
1999, 2009), when he neoliberaldevelopmen projec was in a phase of full implemenaion.As an alernaive o he neoliberal model, peasans, small-scale farmers, farm workers and indigenous communiies organized in he ransnaional agrarianmovemen La Vía Campesina (2008a) argue ha he curren, and linked, food,economic and environmenal crises are in fac he direc resul of decades of de-srucive economic policies based on he globalizaion of a neoliberal, indusrial,capial-inensive and corporae-led model of agriculure. La Vía Campesina, formedin 1993 and now represening 148 organizaions from sixy-nine counries, has become one of he sronges voices of radical opposiion o he globalizaion of an indusrial and neoliberal model of agriculure, claiming ha “he ime for foodsovereigny has come.”Peasan movemens, urban-based social movemens, non-governmenalorganizaions (
s) and indigenous peoples have been insrumenal in putingfood sovereigny on he agenda, and consequenly, hey have succeeded in shiinghe erms of he debae around food, agriculure and rural developmen a he lo-cal, naional and inernaional levels. Because food sovereigny aims o ransformdominan forces, including hose relaed o poliics, economics, gender, he envi-ronmen and social organizaion, here will, no doub, be a long and hard sruggleo see food sovereigny become he sandard model for food producion and ruraldevelopmen. is book conribues o his sruggle by engaging in a conversaionha idenies and expands he meanings, undersandings and implicaions of foodsovereigny in an inernaional conex.
Initiating the Food Sovereignty Concept
Food sovereigny as a concep evolved from he experience of, and criical analysis by, farming peoples, hose mos immediaely aeced by changes in naional andinernaional agriculural policy inroduced hroughou he 1980s and early 1990s.e resuls of he inclusion of agriculure in he General Agreemen on Taris andTrade (
) negoiaions, ariculaed in he
, brough ino sharp relief com-muniies’ widespread loss of conrol over food markes, environmens, land andrural culures. e erm “food sovereigny” was coined o recognize he poliicaland economic power dimension inheren in he food and agriculure debae ando ake a pro-acive sance by naming i. Food sovereigny, broadly dened as herigh of naions and peoples o conrol heir own food sysems, including heirown markes, producion modes, food culures and environmens, has emergedas a criical alernaive o he dominan neoliberal model for agriculure and rade.La Vía Campesina (1996a) rs discussed food sovereigny a is SecondInernaional Conference, held on April 18–21, 1996, in Tlaxcala, Mexico. Peasanand farm leaders who gahered here no longer saw poenial in he concep of “foodsecuriy” o ensure local access o culurally appropriae and nuriious food. In