A seminar on food sovereignty
Saturday 12 November, 11am – 5pm
ULU, Malet Street, WC1, London
Maria Neri from CONZARRD, an NGO focusing on agrarian reform and rural development in Mindanao, Philippines.
Graciela Romero, International Programme Director, War on Want
Rehad Desai, South African climate activist
Pierre Rousset NPA, Asia and European Social Forums
Deepak Rughani, Biofuelwatch
Derek Wall Green Left
Terry Conway Socialist Resistance.
Rapidly rising food prices are one of the most immediate ways that the economic crisis hits the poorest people. It led to riots in many parts of the world in 2010 and was a significant factor in igniting the Arab Spring.
Millions are dying of starvation in Africa and it’s easy to assume that this is because we aren’t producing enough food to feed everyone. In fact food production has become increasingly globalised and distorted since the 1970s with the result that a handful of companies now dominate the trade in staple foods. This leaves the most vulnerable countries at the mercy of those who dominate the trade. Global warming compounds the problem through drought, desertification and water shortage.
The rich countries of the north have imposed so called “liberalisation” on poorer countries – often through institutions like the International Monetary Fund – and subsidising agribusiness at the expense of the most vulnerable.
Agribusiness and GM crops have pushed up yields in a way that destroys the environment and denies food to hungry people. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez hit the nail on the head when he said that the food crisis is “the greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model.
War on Want runs a campaign against the power of the supermarkets to make the lives of growers increasingly intolerable. With the global food system in crisis it is organising a day of action on food sovereignty on October 18.
Oxfam has produced a report into the growing phenomena of land grab, produced by a drive to produce food for export, to meet bio-fuels targets and speculate on land to make an easy profit. Land grabs ignore the rights of people living on the land, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living.
Socialist Resistance and Green Left argue for an ecosocialist approach to the problem where the people who produce food have the right to determine their own agricultural policies, free from interference from the multinationals or international institutions with their neo-liberal policies such as the IMF and the World Bank.
These issues are not discussed enough on the left and this seminar gives us a unique opportunity to do so.
Organised by: Socialist Resistance and Green Left
Workshops and plenty of time for discussion.
Tickets: £7.00 and £4.00 unwaged, from PO Box 62732 London SW2 9GQ. Cheques made out to Socialist Resistance. or by paypal.com to pay