44: Defending the Right to Food Sovereignty: In Conversation with Paula Gioia

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The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated the already existing deep structural problems of corporate and increasingly globalized food systems. A radical, human rights-based and agroecological transformation of food systems is more urgent than ever.

As the United Nations gears itself to hold the 2021 version of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), activists and analysts are sounding the alarm that this year’s event is not building on the legacy of past World Food Summits, which resulted in the creation of innovative, inclusive and participatory global food governance mechanisms anchored in human rights, such as the reformed UN Committee on World Food Security (the CFS).

This year’s Food Systems Summit follows a strong multi-stakeholder approach, which puts on equal footing governments, corporations, other private sector actors, philanthropies, scientists, and NGOs.

Critics argue that, while the FSS organizers aim to create an illusion of inclusiveness, it remains unclear who is in control of taking decisions and by what procedures those decisions are made.
Our guest on the podcast, Paula Gioia, is a peasant farmer, a beekeeper based in Germany. She works on a community farm, and is part of the European Coordination of La Via Campesina.
La Via Campesina is an international movement bringing together millions of peasants, small and medium size farmers, landless people, rural women and youth, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. Built on a strong sense of unity, and solidarity between these groups, it defends peasant agriculture and strongly opposes corporate driven agriculture that destroys social relations and nature.

La Via Campesina believes that this year’s summit is opening up UN processes to the private sector. It is privileging the corporate elites, and the process behind it has been opaque, exclusive and has ignored the autonomy of People’s Movements.

Paula explains what kind of 'food regime' or 'food system' is needed today, right now, and how we can bring it about. What are the main obstacles today to making fully real and accessible for everyone a genuine and meaningful 'human right to food'?
Website of the People's Autonomous Response to the UN Food Systems Summit
:https://www.foodsystems4people.org/
International Peasants Movement: https://viacampesina.org/en/
Image source: Shade Cacao Plantation, Ixcacao Mayan Chocolate/Mvfarrell
Keywords:
food summit, World food summit, Food Aid Organisation FAO, Peasants, Farmers

48 episodes