The International food sovereignty movement

“Every struggle, in any part of the world for food sovereignty is our struggle.”
Nyéléni 2007 Declaration

At the World Food Summit in 1996, La Via Campesina (LVC) launched a concept that both challenged the corporate dominated, market driven model of globalised food production and distribution, as well as offering a new paradigm to fight hunger and poverty by developing and strengthening local economies. Since then, food sovereignty has captured the imagination of people all over the world – including many governments and multilateral institutions – and has become a global rallying cry for those committed to social, environmental, economic and political justice.

In 2001, delegates from peasant, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, civil society, and academic organisations met in Havana at the World Forum on Food Sovereignty to elaborate the different elements of food sovereignty. From 2000 onwards, campaigners against the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture demanded public support for sustainable, family based food production and called for Priority to Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and WTO out of Food and Agriculture.

The International Forum on Food Sovereignty in 2007 in Mali was a defining milestone for food sovereignty and brought together more than 500 people from 80 countries to pool ideas, strategies and actions to strengthen the global movement for food sovereignty.

The Nyéléni 2007 Declaration encapsulates the vision of the movement.

In 2015, many of these same movements came together at the Nyéléni Forum for Agroecology, where they agreed upon a common definition of Agroecology.

Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social classes and generations. Food sovereignty makes sense for people in both, rural and urban areas, and poor and wealthy countries. It is as much a space of resistance to neoliberalism, free market capitalism, destructive trade and investment, as a space to build democratic food and economic systems, and just and sustainable futures. […]

The food sovereignty movement is constantly growing, with small-scale food producers (farmers, fishers, pastoralist, indigenous peoples, rural workers…) at its core.

In this section are key documents of the international Food Sovereignty movement.