Over on the World Changing website there is a report from Anna Lappé who attended the first International Forum on Food Sovereignty in Mali. It got me thinking about what food sovereignty means to Americans. As with many things, I think we can learn from non-Americans on the best way to precede. Here are a few answers to the question.
I’ve been asking every delegate I meet, from Thai fisherman to Senegalese peasant organizers, what food sovereignty means to them. As one delegate, a mayor from Norway (and probably the only mayor here) said: “For me, food sovereignty means we must support food producers in every country. Food, after all, is power, and we need to decide who has that power: food producers or large corporations.” Said an African delegate from Sierra Leone: “Food sovereignty is the ability for our people to be able to feed ourselves. Here in Africa, hunger is not a problem of production, it’s a problem of access and distribution. We need basic things like storage and food processing facilities. We need access to networks for sale and distribution. If we had these things, we could have food sovereignty in five years.”