Food systems for people

Civil society boycotting summit calls for true food systems transformation.

From 26 to 28 July in Rome the United Nations will hold a Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), a pre-cursor to a VIP New York summit in September 2021. The summit claims it will provide “game-changing” solutions for the transformation of food systems through its “open and inclusive” process. But dig a bit deeper and the façade comes crashing down. The summit is a thinly veiled attempt by corporations, philanthro-capitalists such as the World Economic Forum and the Gates Foundation and northern countries to place themselves at the centre of food governance, presenting false solutions to the problems they have created and perpetuate with impunity. 

This is why Friends of the Earth International is boycotting the UNFSS and instead organising the “Peoples Counter Summit to transform corporate food systems” along with over 500 organisations of peasants, fishers, indigenous peoples, workers, environmental justice and Human Rights activists, scientists and academics.  

In three days of joyful, powerful mobilisations from 25 to 27 July our organisations will expose:

  • How the puppet masters of the UNFSS include so called multistakeholder platforms such as the World Economic Forum with its 1000 corporations many of whom are at the forefront of corporate human rights violations and environmental crimes. 
  • How the UNFSS’ Action Tracks and science groups are pushing failed and unjust corporate proprietary technologies such as biotechnology, gene editing and a “digital cornucopia” instead of changes in policy, and regulation for social and environmental justice. 
  • How the UNFSS’ narratives of “Nature Positive Food” to replace agroecology can allow corporations to continue their destructive activities and offset them by investing in “nature based solutions” that also financialise and grab territories from local communities. 
  • How the UNFSS is undemocratic, un-transparent and excludes the meaningful participation and knowledge of small scale food producers and communities most affected by food insecurity, malnutrition and human rights violations. 

But the power of the food sovereignty movement lies also in showing the path towards solutions for system change. In the last decades hundreds of movements have come together to unite behind agroecology for food sovereignty to transform food systems. Our vision puts power and dignity back in the hands of small scale producers who feed most of the world, conserve and protect ecosystems, nurture seeds, crops and traditional livestock and stand against a food system geared towards commodities and profit. 

Our movement has the solutions: A real food systems transformation is possible – it includes tackling the power of corporations through binding regulations, stopping the use of agrotoxics and risky technologies, shifting public funding towards agroecology, and Governments that uphold and protect peoples’ rights including the Right to Food, to build social, economic, gender and environmental justice. 

The UNFSS summit is not designed to do this. But we believe that we can win. Join us