NFU Affirms World Food Day

(Saskatoon, SK) - The National Farmers Union (NFU) invites all Canadians to acknowledge World Food Day (October 16) with friends, neighbours and community members.

Colleen Ross, 1st Vice President (Policy) for the NFU, says “Food is at the center of almost all ceremonies and celebrations for Canadians. We are all eaters, but we also need to be thinkers and change-makers regarding the current food system and the farmers that provide that food.”   

Ross continued, saying “Our current food system is broken. It’s not working for consumers who want reliable access to safe, quality food produced sustainably. It’s not working for farmers, who as the producers of basic foodstuffs, need a fair share of the consumer’s dollar to be returned to them. Our ecosystem is breaking down and biodiversity is threatened. BUT, there is good news! These are exactly the kinds of food system failures that a policy framework based on food sovereignty can fix.”

Ross describe a  food system redesigned around the principles of food sovereignty as shifting power relationships that currently favour the interests of global agribusiness and food corporations over those of farmers and eaters. She afffirmed, “Food sovereignty begins with the premise that food is a basic human right defined by small and medium-sized farmers and peasants around the world. From there, sovereignty framework requires that farmers own and control the land they work and have a say in decisions that affect them; that food is produced for domestic use first and then for export markets as appropriate; and that corporate consolidation and vertical and horizontal integration is greatly curtailed.”  

Terry Boehm, President of the NFU, stated: “We can know with almost total certainty that food sovereignty is not a consideration in any of the international trade agreements that Canada is currently negotiating. We know this because ordinary Canadians – farmers and eaters alike – are not privy to any of the terms that the Canadian government is negotiating on our behalf. Our elected officials are putting the interests of corporations ahead of the democratic rights and economic interests of Canadians. This is just the latest iteration of federal policies favouring international trade and corporate consolidation that have been implemented over the last several decades.”

Ross concluded, “World Food Day provides an opportunity for all Canadians to take action and move forward on building sustainable, biodiverse ecosystems that produce safe, healthy food and reward producers fairly. Eat as locally as possible. Buy your produce from local producers at Farmers’ Markets. Purchase ethically raised meats that have been processed in small, local abattoirs. Every food choice makes a difference in the kind of food system we build.”

For more information:

Colleen Ross, NFU Vice President (Policy):   (613) 213-1522 or colleen.ross.3012@gmail.com
Terry Boehm, NFU President:                        (306) 255-2880 or nfu@nfu.ca