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21 September 2021

People who produce most of the world’s food continue to fight against agribusiness-led UN food summit

An ever-increasing number of voices from outside and inside the Summit, including governments, academia and the UN, share the view that the self-proclaimed “People’s Summit” is destined for failure.

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3 August 2021

Thousands mobilize to call for food systems that empower people, not companies

UN Food Systems Pre-Summit falls short on climate, hunger crisis, COVID-19, and food systems transformation, say counter-mobilization participants, totalling almost 9,000 people.

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19 July 2021

Hundreds of grassroots organizations to oppose the UN Food Systems Summit

Civil society and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations launch a global counter-mobilization against the UN Food Systems Pre-Summit from 25 to 28 July 2021 in Rome and online.

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‘Corporate colonization’: small producers boycott UN food summit

23/09/2021

Nina Lakhani - The Guardian

Hundreds of civil society groups, academics and social movements are boycotting the first UN global food summit amid growing anger that the agenda has been hijacked by an opaque web of corporate interests.Called the people’s summit by UN organisers, groups representing thousands of small-scale farmers and Indigenous communities, which produce 70% of the world’s food through sustainable agriculture, are among those to withdraw from Thursday’s event saying their knowledge and experience has been ignored.

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UN summit stays silent on root causes of our failing food system

23/09/2021

Hans Herren - Thomson Reuters

It should have been a leap forward for the future of the planet, but instead it’s been a textbook example of how not to run a summit. The UN Food Systems Summit was designed to turn the page on our failing food system and point the way towards a climate-resilient, food-secure, and equitable future. Instead, we’re back to square one: a grab bag of good, bad, and ugly ‘solutions,’ yet a deafening silence on the root causes of the problems we face.

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Small-scale farmers must control our food system

23/09/2021

Paula Gioia - Deutsche Welle

The Food Systems Summit in New York is supposed to come up with a global strategy to fight hunger and feed a rapidly growing world population.But it's focused too much on the big agro-industry. Corporate interests are taking center stage and expanding their influence in the UN system to an alarming extent, undermining democratic decisions. The concerns of peasant farmers like myself, who produce over 70% of the world’s food, are sidelined even though we provide a vital contribution to the food agenda through ecological and fair farming methods.

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Small farmers have the answer to feeding the world. Why isn’t the UN listening?

23/09/2021

Elizabeth Mpofu and Henk Hobbelink - 
The Guardian

Thursday’s UN food summit proposes to help solve the world’s nutrition crisis, with 800 million people going hungry and 1.9 billion labelled obese, by better aligning food systems with development goals. But it won’t achieve any of this. The summit was hijacked early on by powerful corporate interests – but people are resisting.

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We must resist corporate greenwashing

23/09/2021

Astrud Beringer - IPS Journal

It wasn’t that long ago that some people began to hoard food when the pandemic began. Others suddenly found themselves helpless, staring at empty supermarket shelves. More recently, the Covid-19 crisis has shown us how fragile the just-in-time supply chains that dominate our food system are.The UN Food Systems Summit will take place in New York on 23 September.This could become a prime opportunity for corporations to try to legitimise greenwashing practices as a means of tackling climate change and global hunger – a dangerous trend.

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Se il problema è il sistema

23/09/2021

RSI

Alimentazione, sistemi di produzione, accesso al cibo. Non è un problema di quantità. Ma di distribuzione e di metodi produttivi. Dopo anni di declino, il numero di persone che soffrono la fame è tornato ad aumentare. Oggi sono 811 milioni. Però non è più il momento di chiedersi soltanto: come garantire cibo a tutti? Ma piuttosto: perché accade ancora? Come cambiare – anzi, trasformare il sistema? Per la prima volta, il complesso meccanismo delle Nazioni Unite prova – nelle intenzioni – ad affrontare il problema alla radice: i sistemi di produzione. Non solo cibo, ma “good food for all”: un diritto alimentare che comprende il diritto a consumare alimenti sani, di qualità. 

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'VN-top over voedselsystemen: een gemiste kans om landbouw en voedsel ingrijpend te hervormen'

23/09/2021

Vrije Tribune

De cijfers zijn onthutsend: alleen al in 2020, terwijl de pandemie blijft voortduren, lijdt 10% van de wereldbevolking honger en is 30% ondervoed, waaronder een groeiend aandeel kinderen. Meer in het algemeen heeft de mondiale voedselproductie een verwoestend effect op het milieu en versnelt het de klimaatverandering. 

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Nao aos sistemas alimentares corporativos sim à Soberania Alimentar!

23/09/2021

Marcha mundial das mulheres

Frente à pandemia COVID-19 em curso, o caos climático, o aumento da fome e todas as formas de desnutrição, destruição ecológica e múltiplas crises humanitárias, nós , movimentos sociais, articulações de povos indígenas, organizações não governamentais, entidades e acadêmicos, afirmamos nosso compromisso com a soberania alimentar e rejeitamos a contínua colonização corporativa dos sistemas alimentares e da governança alimentar sob o fachada da Cúpula de Sistemas Alimentares das Nações Unidas (UNFSS)

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UN food summit will be ‘elitist’ and ‘pro-corporate’, says special rapporteur

22/09/2021

Karen McVeigh - The Guardian

The UN global food summit is “elitist and regressive” and has failed in its goal of being a “people’s summit”, according to the special rapporteur on food rights. As world leaders prepare to attend the virtual event on Thursday, which aims to examine ways to transform global food systems to be more sustainable, Michael Fakhri said it risked leaving behind the very people critical for its success.

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Comic: The corporate capture of food systems

22/09/2021

FIAN International and Zago Brothers

Our food systems are increasingly controlled by a small number of powerful corporations. Corporate control over what we eat and grow undermines the human right to food and nutrition in multiple ways, and leads to hunger and malnutrition. Radical transformation of food systems is more urgent than ever.

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People Vs. Agribusiness Corporations: The Battle Over Global Food and Agriculture Governance

September 2021

Oakland Institute

People Vs. Agribusiness Corporations: The Battle Over Global Food and Agriculture Governance offers a detailed look and analysis of how the 2021 Food Systems Summit became the most uneventful UN event. The appointment of the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), as UN Special Envoy of the summit, was the lightning rod that catalyzed global opposition. 

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UN Food Systems Summit marginalizes human rights and disappoints, say experts

22/09/2021

Mr. ​Michael Fakhri,  Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, Mr. David Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; and Mr. Olivier de Schutter,  Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

GENEVA (22 September 2021) - UN human rights experts said today they are deeply concerned that this week’s UN Food Systems Summit will not be a “people’s summit” as promised, and the most marginalized and vulnerable will be left behind.“The Summit claims to be inclusive, but many participants and over 500 organizations representing millions of people feel ignored and disappointed,” the independent experts said in a statement ahead of the 23 September Summit on building healthier, more sustainable and more equitable food systems around the world.

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UN food summit will only feed corporations

22/09/2021

Sofia Monsalve - Project Syndicate

Transnational agribusiness firms have captured the UN Food Systems Summit and have restricted the meeting's agenda to solutions that will further inflate their profits instead of solving the global hunger crisis, says Sofia Monsalve, secretary general of the food rights organisation FIAN International.
When I visited my parents in Bogotá last month, I witnessed how people in their neighborhood went up and down the streets begging for help to survive.

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State must dish up food policies that benefit the hungry, not the greedy

22/09/2021

Marc Wegerif & Ruth Hal - Business Livel

The UN Food Systems Summit, which opens on Thursday in New York, was supposed to mark a global breakthrough — the moment at which governments, the private sector and civil society finally came together in support of a holistic, people-focused approach to food production, distribution and consumption.When I visited my parents in Bogotá last month, I witnessed how people in their neighborhood went up and down the streets begging for help to survive.

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UN experts decry own food summit as putting profit before people

22/09/2021

 Natasha Foote - Euractiv

A group of UN human rights experts have joined in the criticism of this week’s UN Food Systems Summit, warning in a statement that instead of having the promised “people’s summit”, the most marginalised and vulnerable risk being left behind.The self-titled “people’s summit” will be held in New York on Thursday (23 September) as part of ambitions to build healthier, more sustainable and more equitable food systems around the world.

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Corporate interests calling the shots at UN Food Systems Summit

22/09/2021

Marc Wegerif, Ayanda Madlala, Nkanyiso Gumede and Ruth Hall - Daily Maverick

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition declared that a “food system gathers all the elements [environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructures, institutions, etc] and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, preparation and consumption of food, and the outputs of these activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes”. The most important outputs of a food system are people enjoying their right to food (or food and nutrition security) and improving livelihoods, especially for those in the food system.

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Mandatory fortification is not a solution to malnutrition

22/09/2021

Farida Akhter - The business Standard

The global actors in the food business are now busy finding or creating markets for industrial food products. Countries with a large population, where laws and regulatory authorities are absent or weak, are generally the targets. Categories such as 'nutrition,' 'micro-nutrients,' etc play a role in constituting new corporate markets.

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Agroecology Is the Solution to World Hunger

22/09/2021

Raj Patel - Scientific American

Although it is the sharp edge of the battle to end hunger, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching a reality TV cooking show. Under the low peak of Bwabwa Mountain in Malawi, in a village on a tributary of the Rukuru River, about 100 people gather around pots and stoves. Children crowd around a large mortar, snickering at their fathers’, uncles’ and neighbors’ ham-fisted attempts to pound soybeans into soy milk. At another station, a village elder is being schooled by a man half his age in the virtues of sweet potato doughnuts.

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UN Food Systems Summit Resistance: Part Two, Elizabeth Mpofu, Alejandro Argumedo, and Anuradha Mittal

September 2021

Oakland Institute

“Farmers and civil society organizations were not consulted when the summit was being organized and it is not inclusive, but only focusing on the big agribusiness players… that is why the boycott has been so intensive.”Elizabeth Mpofu
“It's not grounded in people's rights, but in corporate rights. And it doesn't look actually for system change, but for maintaining this system, in a way that extends the control of the corporate power.”Alejandro Argumedo

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UN Food Systems Summit Resistance: Part One, Nnimmo Bassey and Kristen Lyons

September 2021

Oakland Institute

The first episode in a two part series exploring resistance to the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit and mapping out sustainable, bottom-up approaches to food sovereignty. Featuring Nnimmo Bassey (Health of Mother Earth Foundation) and Kristen Lyons (Professor of Environment and Development Sociology, U Queensland), with an introduction by Chivy Sok.

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The UN Food Systems Summit is hogwash. It is a threat to peoples’ food sovereignty

22/09/2021

La Via Campesina

La Via Campesina is among scores of other social movements of organized small-scale food producers, workers and indigenous people boycotting the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), slated to take place in New York – September 23rd, 2021. Peoples’ movements are united in condemning the illegitimacy of this ‘summit’ and in denouncing the attempt by transnational corporations to usurp the institutional spaces within the United Nations.  

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Cúpula da ONU sobre alimentação fecha os olhos para os impactos dos ultraprocessados

21/09/2021

Luisa Amaral - O joio e o trigo

Ultraprocessados se transformaram numa das grandes preocupações de saúde pública do século 21. Nos últimos anos, uma série de evidências científicas fortaleceram a associação desses produtos com as doenças que mais matam no mundo (diabetes, câncer, enfermidades cardiovasculares). Logo, esse tema deveria estar no centro do maior encontro global sobre alimentação, certo? Errado.

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Meat industry pushes UN food summit to back factory farming

21/09/2021

Zach Boren

A coalition of meat industry associations has pushed for the upcoming UN food systems summit to boost global meat consumption and promote intensive livestock farming despite its environmental footprint, Unearthed can reveal.The findings have prompted the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, to warn that powerful agribusiness interests could “dominate the discussion”, leading to disappointing outcomes. 

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Climate science or corporate food? UN Food Summit must choose for a liveable planet 

21/09/2021

Davin Hutchins - GreenPeace

Scientists couldn’t be more clear. For humanity to avoid climate disaster and remain below the 1.5°C threshold set out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, society must radically transform. We need to change our energy, transport, and food systems fundamentally and quickly.

Why food? According to scientists from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land use for farming is responsible for one-quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

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Livestock industry lobbying UN to support more meat production

21/09/2021

The Guardian

Livestock groups have been lobbying the UN to support more meat and dairy production before a high-profile summit on food sustainability, documents reveal.
Most experts agree that livestock are responsible for at least 14% of global emissions, while a study published last week found the use of animals for meat causes twice the planet-heating gases that plant-based foods do.
The UN Food Systems Summit (UN FSS), taking place this week in New York, aims to make global agricultural systems more sustainable, billing itself as a transformational “people’s summit”.

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‘Walk the talk’ after food systems summit, scientists urge

21/09/2021

Ruth Douglas

Leaders from more than 85 countries will pledge their commitment to transforming food systems at the UN Food Systems Summit this week, but scientists say close monitoring of their actions beyond the talks will be the true test of success.The summit, being held virtually during the UN General Assembly high-level week in New York, is expected to include pledges on healthy meals for all schoolchildren, food waste reduction, and harnessing agricultural innovation to meet climate goals.

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Mr. Marí, what happened at the alternative Summit?

21/09/2021

Jan Rübel

Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World) did not attend the UNFSS pre-summit in Rome. Instead, the aid organisation took part in a counter-summit. The following conversation with Francisco Marí touched on the reasons for this, the course of events and the outlook for the future.

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Milk, dietary racism and the corporate capture of the United Nations

20/09/2021

Nassim Nobari - Seed the commons

When the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced last October that it planned to build closer ties with CropLife International, the trade body of the pesticide industry, civil society and environmental organizations jumped into action. Eleven international organizations sponsored a letter to the Director General of the FAO that opposed the announced partnership. It was signed by 352 civil society and indigenous organizations from 63 countries, and was accompanied by a letter of support from nearly 300 academics and scientists. Seed the Commons, the organization that I co-founded and that opposes the corporate takeover of food systems, signed on.

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Will the UN Food Systems Summit really solve hunger and climate change?

20/09/2021

Alberta Guerra, Catherine Gatundu and Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau

The United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) is rapidly approaching. The event on 23 September will be convened by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to catalyze commitments from governments and other actors to take swift action towards the transformation of the global food system; to ensure food security and address biodiversity loss and climate change. 

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Food Experts’ Expectations for Global Food Systems Transformation

20/09/2021

Alison Kentish

Dubbed ‘the People’s Summit, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) hopes to put the world back on a path to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, through food systems overhauling. From the tempered to the extremely optimistic, experts in various food system sectors share their expectations of transformation.The world has been lagging on ambitious climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, but the UNFSS is hoping that commitments to transform global food systems will get the world back on track to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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The Corporate Capture of the UN Food Summit

20/09/2021

Sofia Monsalve

Transnational agribusiness firms are contributing to a growing global hunger crisis, causing widespread environmental damage, and threatening people’s health. By also capturing the United Nations Food Systems Summit, they have restricted the meeting's agenda to solutions that will further inflate corporate profits.

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Time is running out for a new agricultural model for the global south

20/09/2021

Jayati Ghosh

Climate change is posing immediate threats to humanity, and indeed to all living organisms on the planet, in extreme weather events across the globe. Other environmental stresses include rising water levels or falling water tables, desertification and salination.Agriculture—especially industrial agriculture requiring chemical inputs—is cause and victim of these changes. Cultivation patterns such as mono-cropping, with heavy reliance on groundwater and chemical inputs, have reduced the food sovereignty of poor countries and generated growing environmental problems.

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Towards a pesticides-free planet

20/09/2021

FIAN International

This will be underlined this week when three key UN reports on toxic substances, the right to a healthy environment and food systems are presented in Geneva and New York, just head of the UN Food Systems Summit.  FIAN International has contributed to the momentum for change with a study of local experiences from around the world. Transitioning to pesticide free food systems: people´s power and imagination takes a bottom-up human rights approach and shows that a transition towards agroeology is underway in many parts of the world.

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Fundamental Changes Needed at UN Summit to Tackle Global Food Insecurity

20/09/2021

 Nick Nisbett, Lesli Hoey and Jose Graziano da Silva

COVID-19 has exposed numerous fractures in global food systems that leave millions at risk of food insecurity. Like the numerous political failures in dealing with COVID, the repercussions of food system failings are experienced by rich and poor countries alike, with the poorest and most marginalised paying the greatest price.
To be clear, while the numbers of those who are undernourished remain shamefully high, this is a food crisis that is not just about hunger or famine.

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The UN is holding a summit on building a sustainable future for food and ag. Why are so many people upset about it?

17/09/2021

Lela Nargi

On September 23, the United Nations will hold a first-of-its-kind Food Systems Summit in New York City. Conceived to help launch a “Decade of Action,” in which countries commit themselves in earnest to the organization’s 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), the summit is meant to design “bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs”—ranging from ending poverty and hunger to transitioning to clean energy and responsible consumption—”each of which relies to some degree on healthier...

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GRAIN rejects the UN Food Systems Summit - and shuts down in protest

17/09/2021

Grain

The United Nation Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) will be held on 23 September 2021, at the UN General Assembly headquarters in New York. The summit is supposed to help solve the global food crisis, in which 800 million people face hunger and 1.9 billion suffer obesity, by better aligning food systems with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. But it won’t do any of this. The summit was hijacked early on by corporate interests. It is officially sponsored by the World Economic Forum, the private foundation that brings the world’s global elite to Davos, Switzerland, every January.

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Time to transition to agroecology in Africa

17/09/2021

Million Belay and Timothy Wise

As COVID-19 threatens farming communities across Africa already struggling with climate change, the continent is at a crossroads. Will its people and their governments continue trying to replicate industrial farming models promoted by developed countries? Or will they move boldly into the uncertain future, embracing ecological agriculture?

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The Coming Food Fight

16/09/2021

Project Syndicate

Addressing the growing problem of food insecurity must be central to the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. But the debate in the run-up to the September 23 United Nations Food Systems Summit suggests that a practical consensus among governments, business, and civil-society groups may prove elusive.

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Es bleiben neun Ernten Zeit

16/09/2021

Christiane Grefe

Im Jahr 2015 machten alle Regierungen der Welt gemeinsam ein großes politisches Versprechen. Sie einigten sich auf das Nachhaltigkeitsziel "Null Hunger bis 2030". An dieser Aufgabe droht die Staatengemeinschaft zu scheitern.

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North American Coalition Mobilizes To Counter UN Food Systems Summit 2021

15/09/2021

La Via Campesina

A virtual event to elevate voices and concerns of food providers marginalized by the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) process. The People’s Kitchen Counter-Mobilization: Food System Take-Back is a half-day virtual event, hosted by The People’s Forum NYC, and will feature speakers from Africa to North America in separate conversations laying out their visions for a food system based on agroecology and food sovereignty. Intermissions will feature cultural events from organizations based around North America.

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Food Systems Summit’s Scientistic Threat

14/09/2021

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Timely interventions by civil society, including concerned scientists, have prevented many likely abuses of next week’s UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). The Secretary General (UNSG) must now prevent UN endorsement of what remains of its prime movers’ corporate agenda.
Summit threat
The narrative on food challenges has changed in recent years. Instead of the ‘right to food’, ‘food security’, ‘eliminating hunger and malnutrition’, ‘sustainable agriculture’, etc, neutral sounding ‘systems’ solutions are being touted. These will advance transnational corporations’ influence, interests and profits.

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Listen up!

14/09/2021

Swissaid

In the run-up to the UN Food Systems Summit in New York, SWISSAID spoke to six women farmers from the South and Switzerland. The aim was to give a voice to those women who work hard in the fields every day to feed people. The report, delivered personally to Christian Hofer, Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture, on the federal place on Tuesday 21th, tells the story of their daily challenges and highlights the importance of agroecology for their autonomy as women and as farmers.

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What’s up with AgroecologyNow!? 2021/09 Update

September 2021

Agroecology Now!

AgroecologyNow! works with partners in social movements, civil society, governments and research institutions to promote a transformative agroecology for food sovereignty and social justice: www.agroecologynow.comSee below for some highlights of our latest work and highlights from our networks, including free-to-download articles, videos and other resources. 

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Farmers and Civil Siciety reject corporate UN Food Systems Summit 

13/09/2021

Margaret Flowers

The World Economic Forum and Gates Foundation are convening a food summit through the United Nations on September 23. Global farmer, peasant and fishing coalitions have called a boycott of the summit for its pro-corporate agenda, refusal to include the human right to food and exclusion of the intergovernmental body, the Committee on World Food Security, that has created an inclusive and democratized international structure. Clearing the FOG speaks with Patti Naylor, a family farmer in Iowa who works on agroecology and food sovereignty.

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Open letter from IPES FOOD

10/09/2021

IPES FOOD

We are writing with regard to this month's UN Food Systems Summit. Through this letter, we wish to convey our strongest concerns regarding the threat it poses to the role of science and knowledge in food system decision-making.
It is our view that the foreseen outcomes of the Summit could critically undermine the ability of existing UN bodies to guide food system reform. Further, these outcomes threaten the ability of the UN system to maintain the trust and buy-in of many food system actors. These developments are therefore of major concern to us in our respective roles.

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Farmers and Civil Siciety reject corporate UN Food Systems Summit 

09/09/2021

AMIDA - AFSA

Long-time activists know all too well how the powers that be work to divide us to maintain their power base. They use coercion, ego stroking, and straight up misinformation to entice some of us to dance with them, while others see the devil for what he is.  This time the devil, or shall we call him the wolf, comes dressed in sheep’s clothing. The wolf is the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Bank, an assortment of global and regional think tanks​,​ and front men for Big Food and Big Pharma.

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Q & A: (Almost) all you need to know about the UNFSS

09/09/2021

FIAN International & Growing Culture

After two years of preparations, the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) is set to take place on September 23rd. The Summit states its goal as “setting the stage for global food systems transformation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” It sounds promising. But the Summit has been mired in controversy practically from its outset. We’ve broken down the most important questions and answers about the upcoming Summit to clarify exactly where the controversies lie and offer some ways to get involved in the response. 

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