EHNE-Bizkaia--the Basque union of small farmers and ranchers--has been working to advance food sovereignty since La Vía Campesina's foundational congress in 1993. In Euskal Herría (the Basque Country) the struggle for food sovereignty is embedded in a broader struggle for political and cultural autonomy, drawing on a long history of Basque resistance against fascism and state-sponsored repression. A strong model of local cooperative food production thrives in the region, as part of a framework of community empowerment and solidarity economy.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), perhaps the world's most ambitious free trade agreement, is currently under negotiation. What began as a small regional free trade agreement has become one of the primary tools in the United States' geopolitical pivot towards the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement--negotiated in secrecy--will dramatically expand the rights of corporations over those of food producers, consumers, workers and the environment.
Deciding how America will nourish itself and sustain its farms would seem a top policy priority— yet as the US Farm Bill demonstrates, sustainably grown, healthy food and livable incomes for farmers and workers remain an afterthought in a process controlled almost entirely by agribusiness and a handful of farm-state legislators. Despite strong public opinion supporting local food, farmer’s markets, organic agriculture, food workers’ rights and access to fresh produce, agribusiness and commodity interests continue to dominate food and farming policy.
The 'global land rush' is grabbing headlines. While media coverage has focused on the role of hedge funds, retirement funds, sovereign wealth and 'new colonialist' purchases of vast tracts of land in Africa and Asia, academic research is uncovering a broader pattern. As global land values increase, land ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated, even where there have been few reports of land grabbing. Researchers are uncovering patterns of dispossession that are even deeper, wider and potentially more devastating for rural local communities than is generally acknowledged.