Food sovereignty is defined as the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems and the democratization of food and agriculture.
Fair trade, with its focus on sustainable agriculture and democratic control, aligns with this vision, but food sovereignty also intentionally addresses local food economies, not just trade. It has been exciting to see farmers in the Global South diversify their food production and processing to sell in local markets, meet community needs, and build solidarity economies at home.
Our work around food sovereignty has also addressed rights to seeds and advocates that farmers, not corporations, should control the seeds from which nourishing food is grown.
In January 2015 Dr. Vandana Shiva wrote a letter to the heads of states in both India and the US outlining her case for seed sovereignty and asking for both countries to protect the rights of farmers to save seeds.
FWP facilitated a petition to endorse this letter which was signed by over 12,000 consumers.
In 2014, when the government of Brazil was considering legalizing terminator seeds, that is seeds genetically engineered to be sterile, FWP facilitated letters to Brazil’s Commission on Constitution and Justice to urge them to reject the bill. To date, Brazil has upheld the global moratorium on terminator seeds, though proponents of a bill to legalize the technology have not given up.