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Peasant farmers from La Via Campesina celebrate 30 years of shared hopes and struggles

16 May 2023

La Via Campesina members from around the world gathered in-person and online yesterday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the creation of the largest grassroots peasant movement in the world.

European Coordination Via Campesina, the European region of La Via Campesina, co-organised the event to mark the 30-year anniversary of the formal founding of the movement in Mons, Belgium, on 15-16 May 1993.

Attendees and organisers of the first meeting in Mons were joined by peasant farmers from around the globe, as well as allied organisations and policy makers to celebrate all that the movement has achieved.

Among these achievements, La Via Campesina was a key actor in the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas. The movement also coined and socialised the concept of Food Sovereignty, the demand for the right of peoples to decide on agrarian and food policies in order to produce healthy and culturally appropriate food, produced through ecologically sound and sustainable peasant methods, and thus guarantee the right to healthy food for all people and communities. Most importantly, La Via Campesina connects and unites farmers’ struggles across the globe, bringing a voice of hope to societies in order to build fair and just food systems based on peasant agroecology.

As one participant, Andoni Garcia Arriola explained during the event “Today, in the face of the deep systemic crisis that the planet is going through, the peasant voice and the proposals of LVC and its allied organisations are a light of hope for the world. Today we have seen that as long as there are people fighting the peasant struggle, there is hope!”

The event also takes place in the build up to LVC’s 8th International Conference, which will happen 21-28 November this year in Colombia. The conference will see peasant farmers from across the globe highlight and exchange on the fundamental role of peasant farmers and peasant agroecology within the current context global struggle for peace, climate justice, equality and equity.  

Morgan Ody, General Coordinator of LVC closed the celebration with powerful words on what this role will be. “As peasant farmers we have proven we are key to feeding the world and looking after planet Earth. We have succeeded in blocking the WTO, and in putting food sovereignty, peasant agroecology and the rights of peasant farmers on the agenda. The role we will play in the future is even more important, as the future of humanity depends on the future of farming. We are building hope.”

Globalise the Struggle, Globalise the Hope!





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