Key to the international peasant movement, the concept of Food Sovereignty links the question of food production to power and democracy. It places local communities at the heart of food systems and agricultural policies. Food sovereignty asserts people’s right to healthy and culturally appropriate food, produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, as well as their right to define their own food and agricultural systems.
It ensures that the rights to use and manage lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food. In this sense, Food Sovereignty promotes transparent trade, one that guarantees just incomes to all peoples as well as the rights of consumers to control their food systems.
Food Sovereignty provides an entirely different framework for organizing food and agricultural policies internationally, regionally and locally and has grown to encompass a critique of free-market policies. In the context of the market’s failure to respond adequately to the current food crisis and climate change, market protection and peasant agriculture are at the heart of the solution.
An underlying principle of the international peasant movement, its framework was further reinforced by the first Nyeleni Forum that took place in Mali in 2007 and at the European level by the 2011 Forum in Austria.