After returning from the European Forum for Food Nyeleni held in Krems, Austria, the most asked question that I refer when talking about the experience of the forum and there was:
What exactly The Sovereignty of Food means?
Food Sovereignty (FS) represents the right of people for healthy, quality and environmentally safe food that is not genetically modified and it is produced through environmentally sustainable methods, or more specifically, methods which do not destroy nature, its resources and biodiversity. It focuses on sustainable and honest relation to nature.
FS puts interests and needs of smaller manufacturers, distributors of food, as well as those who consume it on the highest level. Sovereignty creates a strategy to counter the current corporate trade and creates an opportunity for local consumers and producers in agriculture, livestock and fisheries to make decisions. Priorities of FS are put on local and national economies and markets, strengthening of family agricultural production, improving the working conditions of producers and distributors. At the same time care and protection of consumer rights, the right to control their food and the right of healthy food.
FS has a wider dimension – it is based on and respects basic human rights. Its purpose is to provide the right to use and manage land, water, seeds, livestock and biodiversity. It implies new social relations without oppression and inequality between genders, generations, nations, racial groups, social and economic classes. Through it people get the right to democratically define their own food and agricultural systems without causing harm to other people or the environment.
Have you thought about food in this direction and whether you would like to be engaged in activities related to food sovereignty?
Representative of Greener was part of a nine-member delegation representing Macedonia at Nyeleni Europe 2011: European Forum for Food Sovereignty, held in Krems, Austria, from 16th to 21st August.
We present you the official press release after the Forum.
„After 5 days of intense, inspired and constructive exchange, the Nyeleni Europe 2011, European Forum for Food Sovereignty closed yesterday.
The Forum adopted the first European Declaration on Food Sovereignty.
Over 400 delegates from European countries committed to strengthening their collective capacity to reclaiming community control over food system, to resisting the agro-industrial system and to expanding and consolidating a strong European movement for Food Sovereignty.
Over 120 organisations and individuals, representing civil society and social movements discussed the impact of current European and global policies.
Together they developed a comprehensive platform and a set of principles to achieve food sovereignty in Europe. The Forum emphasized the contribution of voices of young people, woman and food producers, whose concerns are often overlooked. This diversity and richness of experience enabled the Nyeleni Europe 2011 Forum to identify a common framework, and to define a joint action plan based on a democratic and participatory process.
The Declaration proclaims, “we are convinced that a change to our food system is a first step towards a broader change in our societies”. The Forum delegates strongly committed to taking the food system into their own hands by:
– Working towards an ecologically sustainable and socially just model of food production and consumption based on non-industrial smallholder farming, processing and alternative distribution
– Decentralizing the food distribution system and shortening the chain between producers and consumers
– Improving working and social conditions, particularly in field of food and agriculture
– Democratizing decision-making on the use of the Commons and heritage (land, water, air, traditional knowledge, seeds and livestock)
– Ensuring that public policies at all levels guarantee the vitality of rural areas, fair prices for food producers and safe, GMO-free food for all.
At this time of political volatility, social and economic crisis, the delegates of the NYELENI Forum for Food Sovereignty reaffirmed their vision of unity that emphasized the right of all peoples to define their own food and agriculture policies and systems, without harming either people or precious natural resources, as Food Sovereignty implies.
That’s why we demand food sovereignty in Europe now.“
The full text of the declaration is available on the Nyeleni Forum 2011 website: www.nyelenieurope.net