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New international policy recommendations on Connecting Smallholders to Markets

22 June 2016

ECVC's informative note

ECVC's informative note   New international policy recommendations on Connecting Smallholders to Markets   During negotiations that took place on 8-9 June 2016 at FAO headquarters in Rome, the CFS (Global Committee on Food Security) Open-Ended Working Group agreed on a set of policy recommendations on Connecting Smallholders to Markets. The Open-Ended Working Group session was open to all governments and other CFS participants, including Civil Society.   The text of the recommendations is available on FAO’s website   The purpose   The purpose of these recommendations is for them to be implemented in public policies by national governments around the world (members of the United Nations) in order to strengthen the global efforts for a world free of hunger and for a progressive realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security frameworks. All CFS stakeholders are encouraged to advocate, including within FAO, IFAD, and WFP and other UN agencies’ governing bodies, build awareness through dissemination, promote broad uptake, and facilitate learning, action, and experience sharing through the use of these recommendations.   La Via Campesina's contribution   La Via Campesina participated in the negotiation process, through the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) that functions at the Committee on Food Security (CFS), along with a large delegation of civil society organizations from around the world. The representatives of La Via Campesina were Javier Sanchez (Spain-COAG/ECVC), Ramona Duminicioiu (Romania-Ecoruralis/ECVC) and Angel Strappazon (Argentina-MNCI/CLOC).   After two days of intense negotiations, despite the difficulties of comparing the various dominant ideas about markets, the civil society delegation managed to successfully defend most of its demands (the important role of local - national - regional markets, the necessity of public procurement to include smallholders, nutrition, gender and youth and many others).   "Smallholders have a central role in feeding the population of the world, supplying over 70% of the overall food production. We need hygienic, sanitary standards adapted for production and transformation of small producers, that also support traditional food systems. These recommendations are a step in the right direction. One of the positive results is the recognition of local, regional and national markets as being important in achieving nutrition and food security for all. On a negative note, the EU delegation didn't show support or understanding for the civil society demands, but instead it encouraged the position of the private sector in their ultra-liberal market approach. We need to focus more of our attention on the EU and to continue our work, until the right to market for small producers is fully acknowledged and protected by public policies." declares Spanish farmer Javier Sanchez, from La Via Campesina.   "In the 21st century, women's rights continue to be taboo for public policies. Among the countries who opposed the introduction of the "women's rights" in the text of the recommendations were Egypt, Africa Group states and the European Union. After shameful and tense negotiations, the states’ representatives buried women rights under empty terms, such as " gender equality and women’s empowerment". As a peasant woman, I feel deeply worried about the regressive views and lack of respect that high level countries’ representatives have for the majority of the population of this planet. Women's rights are essential for realization of the right to food in the world and we will continue to fight for them." declared Romanian peasant Ramona Duminicioiu, from La Via Campesina.   You can see here some of the interventions from La Via Campesina, during the negotiations:   Ramona Duminicioiu's & Angel Strappazon's interventions   Javier Sanchez's intervention   The process   The negotiations in Rome were the result of a process that started 2 years ago.   You can find all the official information about the consultation process on FAO’s website. It contains all the comments and inputs made by member states, the private sector and various institutional actors prior to the negotiations. For a brief and clear description of the “Connecting Smallholders to Markets” process from the beginning please see the relevant page on the CSM website     What happens next?     The recommendations that came out of the negotiations will be formally presented for endorsement at the 43rd Session of CFS in October 2016.   After October, Civil Society Organizations can start advocating for the implementation of these recommendations at the national level and push for better national policies on smallholders’ access to markets and acknowledgement that smallholder markets already exist and are already essential parts of the global food system.     Contact:   Ramona Duminicioiu , Member of Coordinating Committee of ECVC Mob +40746337022 (EN-FR-RO)     article

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