Peter Rosset: “strong alliances and action for the future” in the struggle for food sovereignty

The second day of activities at the World Forum for Food Sovereignty began with thematic debates on international trade and agriculture, on traditional knowledge, models of production, natural resources, territories, migrations and responses from the different movements in the face of natural disasters.

Peter Rosset, member of the Forum’s International Steering Committee, sees the principal objective for participating movements and organizations not as “discussing consensus around a concept or paradigm, but on a range of joint strategies” to construct other food systems, as alternatives to the current corporate, transnational model.

“It is clear to us that the peasant sector alone cannot change the food system, and that it requires strong alliances with consumers, environmental protection groups, indigenous communities, women, fisherfolk and herdspeople”, said Rosset, who is also a researcher at the Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano, (CECCAM).

In this regard Rosset is confident that major steps are being taken, one example of which is the process for the implementation of the Forum for Food Sovereignty. According to Rosset, progress has been made in the struggle for food sovereignty at regional level, mainly in Africa, and also in devising a strategy for creating alliances between different sectors.

Rosset asserts that that process of exchange and coordination is taking place at this Forum, because “it is a propositional Forum in the form of a dialogue between the different sectors who are interested in constructing other food systems for their peoples”.

“The peasants are very clear about the concept of food sovereignty, but it is also very interesting, for example, to hear the views of the indigenous communities, according to whom the concept applies to people, rather than to countries”, said Rosset.

“The exchange between these different sectors — fisherfolk, nomadic herdspeople, consumers and environmentalists — that’s what makes this Forum such a rich experience”.

With regard to progress made in Africa, Rosset said “this is where the fastest progress can be made. The governments themselves are no longer prepared to support the free trade model and imports, or the problem of humanitarian aid in the form of dumping. So although Africa is a latecomer to the debate, it will soon be taking the lead in the struggle for food sovereignty”.