(Saskatoon, SK) – The National Farmers Union (NFU) affirms World Food Day (October 16) as an opportunity for Canadians, all of whom are eaters, to think and act differently about their food system and the farmers that provide that food.
Colleen Ross, 1st Vice President (Policy) for the NFU, stated: “People need reliable access to fairly priced quality food. That fair price must also provide a reasonable return to farmers, the primary producers of that food. That’s where a food sovereignty framework has something to offer the discussion.”
Food sovereignty is a policy framework for re-designing the food system in favour of eaters and producers rather than solely in the interests of transnational corporations. Food sovereignty, which is defined by small and medium-sized farmers and peasants around the world, calls for a number of significant changes to the food system. Chief among them are the assertion that food is a basic human right; that farmers must own and control the land they work and have a say in decisions that affect them; that food is produced for domestic use and export markets where appropriate; and that corporate consolidation and vertical and horizontal integration is significantly reduced.
Over several decades, federal policies have favoured increasing corporate concentration and international trade at any cost. Terry Boehm, President of the NFU, said: “The recent food safety failure at XL Foods is a perfect example of how that policy focus plays out at the grassroots level. The Nilsson brothers did not follow their own food safety procedures and that failure was not caught by CFIA inspectors. The consequences? Beef contaminated with E. coli O157 sickened consumers, resulted in wasting millions of pounds of beef recalled from store shelves, and caused a nose-dive in beef prices that threatens the livelihoods of cattle farmers.”
On the theme of World Food Day, Ross, who is a passionate good food advocate, said, “Eaters of food – which means all of us – can influence the food system to change for the better. Simply choose to eat more locally. Buy your fresh produce and fruits from local producers, your meats from farmers who support ethical production and have their product processed in small abattoirs.”
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For more information:
Colleen Ross, NFU Vice President (Policy): (613) 213-1522 or email@example.com
Terry Boehm, NFU President: (306) 255-2880 or firstname.lastname@example.org