A movement

The notion of food sovereignty was first discussed publicly during the 1996 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) World Food Summit. The movement has since garnered the support of politicians and of hundreds of non¬governmental organizations worldwide.

Since, thousands of civil society organizations from around the world campaign in favour or food sovereignty, from America to Asia, from Africa to Europe and Oceania. On the fringe of the big FAO assemblies taking place every few years, these organizations meet within a worldwide network for food sovereignty.

Here are a few examples of declarations suggested and approved by civil society organizations:

  • Declaration of Habana, 2001 (signed by 400 delegates of organizations from 60 countries)
    Declaration of Katmandou, 2002 (signed by 120 delegates of organizations from 13 asian countries)
  • Declaration of Beijing, 2004 (signed by delegates of organizations from 15 asian countries)
    Declaration of Bamako, 2006 (signed by African organizations)

  • Declaration of Nyéléni, 2007 (signed by delegates of organizations from 80 countries)
  • Declaration of Lublin, 2007 (signed by delegates of organizations from 9 countries)
  • Declaration of the People's Food Sovereignty Forum, Roma, 2009


Food Sovereignty endorsed by members of Parliament

With the food crisis of 2008, many men and women, politicians or specialists, have starting to embrace food sovereignty as a remedy for food insecurity and unhealthy eating (malbouffe) worldwide.

Olivier De Schutter

From his very first mission report to the WTO, Professor Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food, notified all countries that more liberalism would contribute to increasing hunger around the world. He urged countries of the world not to let their food sovereignty and their food security in the hands of international commerce, but rather, to support and protect their food producers and their domestic market.

"States [...] must maintain the freedom to adopt measures that protect their local markets from the price volatility of international markets.  [...] it is essential that States have all the necessary flexibility to protect their market against sudden explosion in importations.  Supply management programs as well as other mechanisms organizing the markets have in this perspective, an important role to play."

Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Organization on the Right to Food, excerpts from "Le Cycle de Doha n’empêchera pas une autre crise alimentaire, Résumé du rapport de mission auprès de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce présenté au Conseil des droits de l’homme", Geneva, March 2009

European Parliament and many Latin American countries

In the middle of the food crisis, the European Parliament came up with a resolution adopted on May 22th 2008, in which it defends the right of States to food sovereignty and security. A week before (May 17th 2008), presidents of 12 Latin American countries had also agreed on the right of countries to food security and sovereignty in a declaration intitled "Foods for life".


Bill Clinton at the UN 

"We must admit that in the last thirty years we have gone the wrong way. All governments, including the one I was leading when I was President, we have gone the wrong way! We were wrong to consider food as any other commodity in international trade. [...] There will always remain a global market for wheat, rice and probably for corn. But in the long term, we must go back to a politics of maximum food self-sufficiency..."

Bill Clinton, excerpts from a speech given on the World Food Day ceremonies, New York, October 23rd 2008.

European Economic and Social Committee

"Food products in general and milk in particular, are too important for the well-being of citizens; we cannot subject them to the vagaries of a free and non regulated market system."

"Also,  retail trade has been increasingly concentrating, giving it an unprecedented negotiation power. Thus, farmers lost their capacity to set prices, becoming "price takers". According to the EESC, increasing the number of quotas to finally abolish them, without considering the demand, is incompatible with the European Union's ambition to develop a sustainable agricultural model and to maintain the production of milk."European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), excertps from a press release annoncing a publication of its opinion on the future strategy for the European milk sector for 2010-2015 and beyond, February 18th 2010.


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