Building global political support for food sovereignty
Oct 7 – 11th was the 40th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome where FoEI food sovereignty programme coordinators were present joining the call of social movements for Governments to support small holder centred investments and stop biofuel expansion.
What is the CFS?
After the global food price crisis in 2008 social movements pushed hard to reform the CFS to make it the cornerstone for international cooperation in the area of food security, starting to take such policy decisions out of the hands of the neoliberal World Bank (WB) and World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2009 we won vital reforms that make the new CFS the most important inclusive and democratic space for global governance on food security and nutrition. Functioning as a separate intergovernmental body, in the new structure of the CFS civil society has a formally-recognized role that allows it to participate with an equal status as governments in meetings and governmental negotiations. Although we are not allowed to vote, we have the power to influence debates, and hold governments accountable to their commitments.
This October at the CFS we won some victories in getting Governments to commit to investments that supported the central role of small holders in agriculture and food security despite immense opposition from counties pushing industrial agriculture such as the USA, Canada and Australia. But there was less success with negotiations on the impact of bio fuels of hunger - where over many late night sessions the bio fuels industry managed to strong arm some Governments into stopping any strong recommendations against the use of crop-based bio fuels. Despite officially recognising the link between bio fuels and food price rises as well as food insecurity in their policy text Governments such as Brazil, Argentina, USA and Canada managed to block any commitments to action.
In the next year the CFS will discuss ‘responsible investments in agriculture’ where the finance industry and agribusiness will lobby hard to get land grabs branded responsible. More on all this at http://www.csm4cfs.org/ and on the FoEI land rights and Food Sovereignty email lists: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com