De’s post on the new peasant revolt got me thinking. Let’s talk about this. In some depth.
The latest enclosure scheme:
On 18-20 April 2011, a gathering of some 200 farmland investors, government officials and international civil servants will meet at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC to discuss how to operationalise “responsible” large-scale land acquisitions. Over in Rome, the Committee on World Food Security, housed at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, is about to start a process of consultation on principles to regulate such deals. Social movements and civil society organisations (CSOs), on the other hand, are mobilising to stop land grabs, and undo the ones already coming into play, as a matter of utmost urgency.Why do the World Bank, UN agencies and a number of highly concerned governments insist on trying to promote these land grab deals as “responsible agricultural investments”?
Here’s the story De sent:
We, the good people of Penobscot, Maine, passed a Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance on March 7, 2011. Because farms and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) have been trying to change state law with little success, we decided it was time to take back the control of food safety and on-farm processing into our own hands and take up a grassroots community movement. We are very proud of our town, the first to vote, and wanted to share with you all the good things happening here in Maine. We all had tears in our eyes when the organic farmers stood to speak. The applause was loud and clear when the ordinance was passed. Although we know it doesn’t really have legal standing — as state law trumps our community laws — we still feel this is a step in the right direction and the beginning of a change for the better. Here are some of the basic tenets of the ordinance:
* We claim our right to produce, process, sell, purchase and consume local foods, thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local food traditions. As such, our right to a local food system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government.
* We hold that federal and state regulations impede local food production and constitute a usurpation of our citizens’ right to foods of their choice.
* We claim Authority to enact this ordinance under, among other laws, part of Title 7 of the Maine Revised Statutes which states: “It is the policy of the State to encourage food self-sufficiency for the State.”
* As such, we claim that producers and processors of local foods are exempt from licensure and inspection when the producer is selling directly to a consumer intending to use the product for home consumption, or if the foods are sold at a community social event. Citizens have the right to produce, process, purchase and consume local foods of their choosing, and it shall be unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with these rights.
We of Penobscot hope this ordinance can be an inspiration to everyone across the country working to maintain their rights to access local foods, and for everyone who works to make a living producing and processing foods to feed their community.
The food movement has spoken.
Thirty years after a cross-country team of Canadian food advocates first convened in an effort to develop a national food strategy, a revamped and expanded version of that group will today issue a 27-page roadmap to food system change.
The People’s Food Policy Project, an umbrella group representing grassroots organizations and individuals from coast-to-coast, canvassed more than 3,500 Canadians over two years to come up with its findings. They are based on the concept of food sovereignty, the idea that people have a rightful say in determining how their food is produced and where it comes from. Not only does food sovereignty need to be restored in Canada, the project argues, policies at all levels of government need to be overhauled to enable it.
Food Sovereignty in Detroit