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New Seed Survey Report Highlights Privatization Concerns

Posted: April 16, 2014 at 5:05 pm

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance is proud to present A Preliminary Report on Seeds and Seeds Practices across the US in celebration of La Via Campesina’s International Day of Farmers’ Struggles in Defense of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Seeds – April 17.

The report is based on surveys of seed savers and seed advocates from around the United States. It documents who saves seeds, as well as why, where and which ones. Responses reveal that many growers save and share seeds to produce healthy food, preserve their cultural heritage, and to defy efforts by transnational agribusinesses to privately patent and monopolize control of seeds.

The report is especially pertinent during 2014, the International Year of Family Farming, as designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Based on the surveys and the Call to Action of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, the report provides individual, community, national and international action recommendations aimed at defending seeds from privatization and preserving them for the common good.

The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance presents this report in solidarity with La Via Campesina in its global efforts to defend food and seed sovereignty.

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What is Food Sovereignty?

Posted: October 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm


the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies;
the democratization of food and agriculture.

Food sovereignty is a movement growing from the bottom up, from the farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples and landless workers most impacted by global hunger and poverty. Food sovereignty goes well beyond ensuring that people have enough food to meet their physical needs. It asserts that people 
their power in the food system by rebuilding the relationships between people and the land, and between food providers and those
First framed
 the international
 peasant movement La Via Campesina at the World Food Summit in 1996, food sovereignty is rooted in the ongoing global struggles over control of food, land, water, and livelihoods.

As we have seen in recent years, Big Food is making record profits, even as more and more people struggle to feed their families, family farmers struggle to stay on their land, and, globally, peasants and indigenous communities struggle against land grabs that threaten their livelihoods and even their lives. While corporations and governments profit from top-down, market-driven policy approaches, food sovereignty is an approach focused instead on people and communities, based on the following principles:


Food sovereignty puts the right to sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food for all at the center of food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries policies.


Food sovereignty values all those who grow, harvest and process food, including women, family farmers, herders, fisherpeople, forest dwellers, indigenous peoples, and agricultural, migrant and fisheries workers.


Food sovereignty brings food providers and consumers closer together so they can make joint decisions on food issues that benefit and protect all.


Food sovereignty respects the right of food providers to have control over their land, and water and rejects the privatization of natural resources.


Food sovereignty values the sharing of local knowledge and skills that have been passed down over generations for sustainable food production free from technologies that undermine health and well-being.


Food sovereignty focuses on production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems, avoid costly and toxic inputs and improve the resiliency of local food systems in the face of climate change.


“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”

– Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007

For more on food sovereignty, see:
La Via Campesina
Nyéléni 2007 Global Forum for Food Sovereignty
National Family Farm Coalition [PDF]
Harvesting Justice