Voices from the field

Voice from the field

The ‘Corredor afroalimentario’ Afro-food initiative in Northern Cauca, Colombia

Julio Cesar Rodriguez Castrillon, Corporación Colombia Joven, Northern Cauca, Villa Rica Cauca

The “corredor afroalimentario” is a social and community-based initiative that originated from the coordination of several organisations, with the aim of promoting and strengthening an alternative dynamic solution to achieve food sovereignty and the fulfilment of the human right to food. This dream is full of hope, as this initiative restores farmers’ dignity  and in turn provide a strategy to ensure that the work of the Afro-Caribbean peasantry—a fundamental part of rural communities’ development —is made visible and is recognised. I am convinced that northern Cauca must shift its current developmental model, which focuses on monocultures such as sugar cane used in ultra-processed beverages, towards the strengthening and conservation of traditional and sustainable farms, the conservation of native and creole seeds, the promotion of solidarity economy and the creation of shorter market chains. The Afro-food market is one of the best strategies for farmers, to sell their products at fair prices without the need for intermediaries, while communities enjoy real and healthy food based on Afro-Colombian culinary traditions. I believe that the work of social initiatives is fundamental so that this commitment to life is also viewed as a strategy to provide a solution to the national government’s zero hunger project, thus influencing the demand for adequate spaces through municipal and departmental development plans.

Nyéléni process: towards a Global Food Sovereignty Forum 2025

Voices from our allies

Stefano De Angelis, World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), www.wftucentral.org

In 2016 the WFTU participated in the Nyéléni Europe process. In fact, we believe that the important issues of food and nutrition must include workers who are often directly involved in both the harvesting and processing of agricultural products.

The union also deals daily with large numbers of workers who buy low-cost food due to low wages, without being aware of the damage they do to themselves and to small food producers. This shows the fundamental need for greater involvement and knowledge sharing with workers (and consumers associations) on the issue of producing good food and respecting nature.

The battle for food sovereignty must be articulated in a united front, coordinating farmers, labourers and consumers. This is vital in order to swiftly overcome the particularities of each struggle that separate and make us weak in the face of an enormously stronger enemy.

At a European level, the development of the Food Sovereignty movement needs to move from a more academic and research focus instead towards the construction of a platform able to make demands –demands which can be brought forward both at European and regional levels. That said, we are aware that a platform of this kind requires a lot of coordination and resources.

Achievements in the area of rights are generally attained through local battles and advocacy work directly with decision makers. This is why it would be useful to organize more assemblies, street initiatives and actions on contentious issues such as the unjust distribution of subsidies, the danger of new GMOs, the high costs faced by small scale producers etc. On this the union, if stimulated, can be of help.