Thinking global and acting local: let’s talk about food sovereignty

October is Local Food Month in Lancaster.  Our events dedicated to promoting local food reflect a growing interest in the Food Sovereignty movement.

“Food Sovereignty …” I hear you say, “what the **** is that!?”

What is food sovereignty?

Over the past couple of years the term ‘food  sovereignty’ has slowly replaced the term ‘food  security’ within foodie conversations. This may  sound like a picky play on words, but there is  an important change underlying these terms.  Food Sovereignty describes a worldwide  movement that is worried about big global  businesses having more and more of a say over  how our food is produced, labelled and sold  rather than the farmers and shoppers who  produce and buy our food. The problem with  this is: global businesses tend to be driven by  profits, rather than working for better  environment, animal and workers’ rights.

 

If the farmers, distributors and us, the shoppers, were the ones making decisions on how our food is produced, packaged and sold, the values driving our food system would be different, don’t you think?

This question has lead to farmers, peasants, pastoralists, fishermen, indigenous peoples, women, youth and environmental groups asking for more control over how we produce and sell food. This ‘Food Sovereignty’ movement has stated six values that it believes should drive a healthy and sustainable food system. Our food system should:

1) Focus on healthy food for people

2) Value food producers

3) Localise food systems

4) Return control back to local communities

5) Build knowledge and skills

6) Work with nature.

What do you think about these values? Are there any missing?

Why not come along to our food debate in the Storey on the 23rd (19:00-21:00) to share your thoughts?

World Food Day, the 16th of October, will mark a national day of action aimed at celebrating local food. On the 11th and 12th of October, the UK’s Great Seed Festival will be in full flow, celebrating the seeds that feed us. A number of seed related workshops will be run in Lancaster as part of this festivGreat-Seed-FestivalUKal: The Pointer roundabout seed saving workshop on the 12th, and an interactive discussion about Lancaster’s new seed library in Lancaster Library on the 11th.

These are part of a range of free events relating to local food which are being held throughout venues in Lancaster in October.

For more information on all of these events visit www.greatseedfestival.co.uk

 

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