Several members of the National Farmers Union (NFU) will travel to the Basque Country to participate in La Via Campesina’s 7th International Conference, July 16th to the 24th, 2017.
La Via Campesina (LVC) is a global movement that brings together organizations representing small- and medium-scale farmers, peasants, agricultural workers, and Indigenous people. LVC promotes social justice and dignity for food producers and strongly opposes corporate-driven agriculture that destroys social relations and nature. Women and young farmers play a crucial role in LVC. The NFU is a founding member of LVC and an important voice for the movement in North America.
The International Conference of LVC, held every four years, is the movement’s highest decision-making forum. Adopting the slogan “We feed our peoples and build the movement to change the world!” and collectively representing over 200 million people, delegates will decide common strategies, host internal debates for the growing global movement, and adopt a collective action plan for the next four years.
Delegates will discuss topics such as the Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas, the impact of Free Trade Agreements on food sovereignty, the influence of intellectual property rights on seed, and solutions to climate change.
“These are crucial issues,” said Carla Fehr, the NFU’s International Program Committee (IPC) Coordinator. “In Canada, farmers stand to lose in the renegotiation of NAFTA, they face increasing loss of autonomy as corporations consolidate power in the food system, and they are vulnerable to the crises caused by climate change. The NFU’s policy work in Canada and through LVC is vital to pushing back against corporate interests and providing an alternative through food sovereignty.”
The NFU strongly believes the struggles and opportunities for achieving food sovereignty in Canada are both an example for and a part of the global struggles for food sovereignty. Together we strive for societies where agriculture serves the needs of communities rather than financial markets or corporations.
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