Barcelona introduces Spanish translation of the Food First book, Food Movements Unite
Food Movements Unite! and Producer-Consumer action networks
Food First book Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food Systems has just come out in Spanish (Icaria Publishers). I traveled to Barcelona for the book launch of Movimientos Alimentarios Unidos!
In the historic center of this ancient Mediterranean city, Xabier Montagut of Xarxa de Consum Solidari introduced the book to a restless crowd of Catalán food activists. “Xabi” is the founder-director of Xarxa, a Catalán alliance of CSAs (community-supported agriculture) and fair trade stores. He is also the author of a chapter in Food Movements Unite! entitled “We Eat; We Decide” that makes the case for “close-circuit” consumer-producer networks for food sovereignty. For Xarxa, consumers need to act as organized citizens as well as conscious consumers. Xarxa has been instrumental in bringing the disperse CSAs and fair trade group of Catalunya together, from “islands” of fairness and sustainability to tightly-knit “nets” of producers and consumers working for food sovereignty. Montagut also argues for consumer sovereignty as an alternative to the “dictatorship of consumption” imposed by the industrial agrifoods system.
I had arrived in Barcelona in time to catch the beginning of a cold, rainy Mediterranean storm (just a day after two weeks of beautiful sunny weather…), though this did not seem to affect the turnout for the book launch. Many in the room had already read the book and were eager to talk more about the chapters on What the Black Panthers can Teach the Food Movement (Raj Patel), Beyond Voting With Your Fork (Josh Viertel) and Racism and Food Justice (Brahm Ahmadi). The discussion revealed many commonalities between the producer-consumer networks in Europe and the United States, as well as a lot of potential for practical and political cross-pollination. It made me realize that the premise for Food Movements Unite!—finding ways for the movement to converge in all of its diversity—is well underway.