Food sovereignty (the term was coined by members of Via Campesina in 1996) was set out in the international coalition conference in Tlaxcala (Mexico), before being officially proposed during the Parallel Forum to the World Food Summit of the FAO in Rome, in November of that year.
For food sovereignty means “the right of peoples, communities and countries to define their own agricultural, labor, fishing, food and land that are appropriate ecological, social, economic and cultural realities of their unique. It includes the true right to food and to produce food, which means that everyone has the right to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate resources to produce it and the ability to support themselves and their societies.”
This definition is taken up in 2007 by the Declaration of Nyéléni at the conclusion of the forum on food sovereignty; It was defined as: “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate, accessible, sustainable and environmentally friendly products in the form, and also the right to define their own food and agriculture systems.”
In economics is a policy that implies political control necessary to a people in the production and consumption of food. According to supporters of food sovereignty, countries must be able to define their own agricultural and food policy to suit your needs, relating to farmers ‘and consumers’ organizations.
In Italy there is a network for the Safety of Food Sovereignty: the CISA (Italian Committee for Food Sovereignty)
The Italian Committee for Food Sovereignty is a network of more than 270 associations, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, associations and social and environmental movements that have decided to join in an Italian platform to support Food Sovereignty and all matters related to it . To affirm this principle, it proposes and supports a sustainable agricultural model and family scale, to protect the environment but also of their social balances of each community.
The Italian Committee for Food Sovereignty was established on the occasion of the FAO Special Forum as part of the 32nd session of the Committee on World Food Security in November 2006, in response to the International Planning Committee to mobilize (IPC), Committee recognized as the guarantor of the civil society consultation process at FAO. During the above-mentioned forum the agency of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has evaluated the performance of the actions and commitments to achieve the halving of world hunger and civil society organizations have declared with one voice the slogan “Winning the hunger you have.”
The organizations members of the Italian Committee for Food Sovereignty are closely following the major international meetings on agricultural issues, food security and the responses to the global food crisis; process analysis and proposals based on experience and close cooperation with the associations of small producers all over the world.
But food sovereignty can not be claimed and achieved without a revision of our understanding of the relationship between man and land transport; without seeing the deeper meaning of the role of man in the use of the Earth goods and without full conviction that all the rural model in 60 years go revised in the direction of a new humanistic vision for Agriculture and Food.
Food Sovereignty can not be reached then if you do not rewrite a number of ethical principles without which food products, their derivatives and the agri-food system, are seen only ever as commodities and commodity exchange systems.
The relationship between man and territory is something much deeper, where the interference with the ecological and human systems connected systems, without a humanistic policy, this can have enormous social and ecological imbalances.
For this reason at the center of food sovereignty are the people, not policies, markets or businesses: farmers, fishermen, indigenous peoples, landless peoples, rural workers, migrants, nomadic herders, communities living in the forests, women, men, youth, consumers, environmental movements, social organizations.
Taking up one of the fundamental principles of the encyclical of Pope Francis: Praised yes, you must rewrite the treaties on agriculture (since the Treaty of Rome of 1957) in the direction of an Integral Ecology without which we risk impoverishing miserably and irreversibly Man and Planet.
Food sovereignty, far from being a fad or something nostalgic is the only true criterion for the Protection of Peoples, of their identities, the relationships of justice among themselves and really related policies to the ecological capacity of the planet, in respecting the uniqueness and local traditions.
The reductionist assumptions of the Free Market (no degrees of freedom) * and a competition of ecological systems (which is agriculture with its products and the contribution of human labor) must be completely reconsidered in an economic model and ecological proximity (see: Proximity) where processes and systems are coming and consequential and where globalization is filtered from the only viable system in it: precisely the Proximity. Food Sovereignty is one of the Neighbourhood Policy applications. These policies are not opposed to globalization, indeed regulate, filter it, structured with a pattern very similar to that of the bodies: from the microscopic to the most macroscopic to the social body.
We do not know whether we have much or little time to address and resolve these issues, but surely we should clothe the healthy concern that places us in a position to be re-actors of history, or if you prefer to re-Sovereigns.
Without this attitude can be no sovereignty nor food sovereignty.
* Degrees of freedom in quantum mechanics represent the necessary conditions in which elementary particles can be located or move.