Food sovereignty, as a critical alternative to the concept of food security, is broadly defined as the right of local peoples to control their own food systems, including markets, ecological resources, food cultures, and production modes. This article reviews the origins of the concept of food sovereignty and its theoretical and methodological development as an alternative approach to food security, building on a growing interdisciplinary literature on food sovereignty in the social and agroecological sciences. Specific elements of food sovereignty examined include food regimes, rights-based and citizenship approaches to food and food sovereignty, and the substantive concerns of advocates for this alternative paradigm, including a new trade regime, agrarian reform, a shift to agroecological production practices, attention to gender relations and equity, and the protection of intellectual and indigenous property rights. The article concludes with an evaluation of community-based perspectives and suggestions for future research on food sovereignty.
A New Rights Framework for Food and Nature?
Post-industrial French Paysans Fight for a Solidaire Global Food Policy
If the post-war industrial model entails a mix of technological and chemical interventions that increase farm productivity, then post-industrial agriculture (emerging in the 1970s) constitutes agricultural surpluses, as well as an array of trade, aid and biotechnology practices that introduce novel foodstuffs (processed and genetically modified) on an unprecedented scale. While industrial agriculture reduces the farming population, the latter gives rise to new sets of actors who question the nature and validity of the industrial model. This essay explores the rise of one set of such actors. Paysans (peasants) from France's second largest union, the Confederation Paysanne, challenge the industrial model's instrumental rationality of agriculture. Reframing food questions in terms of food sovereignty, paysans propose a solidarity-based production rationality which gives hope to those who believe that another post-industrial food system is possible.
Lessons from Madrid
Marian Simon-Rojo, Inés Morales Bernardos and Jon Sanz Landaluze
multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.” La Via Campesina launched the idea of food sovereignty at the World Food Summit in 1996 and embraces a “diversity of social sectors such as the urban poor
Peasant Agroecological Systems as New Frontiers of Exploitation?
Anne Cristina de la Vega-Leinert and Peter Clausing
-efficiency in use of natural resources Local-regional diversity in socio-environmental systems Food security through conventional, commercial / agriculture, export markets Food sovereignty through biodiversity friendly farming, short food circuits and
I focus on the role of agroecology in rural proletarian social movements in this article. First, I highlight these movements' conception of agroecology as an important element of their political ideology. Second, I explore the value of agroecology in helping maintain the permanence of the peasantry. Third, I show that rural proletarian movements emphasize agroecology because it is key to attaining sovereignty. I draw upon the geographic lenses of territory, the production of space, and autonomous geographies in positing these arguments. Throughout the article, I draw upon a case study of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement, one of the most vocal agroecological social movements, to illustrate these arguments.
Addressing Inequality and Neoliberalism
Teresa Marie Mares and Alison Hope Alkon
In this article, we bring together academic literature tracing contemporary social movements centered on food, unpacking the discourses of local food, community food security, food justice, and food sovereignty. This body of literature transcends national borders and draws on a rich genealogy of studies on environmental justice, the intersections of race, class, and gender, and sustainable agro-food systems. Scholars have emphasized two key issues that persist within these movements: inequalities related to race and class that shape the production, distribution, and consumption of food, and the neoliberal constraints of market-based solutions to problems in the food system. This article claims that food movements in the United States would be strengthened through reframing their work within a paradigm of food sovereignty, an approach that would emphasize the production of local alternatives, but also enable a dismantling of the policies that ensure the dominance of the corporate food regime. The article concludes by offering a critical analysis of future research directions for scholars who are committed to understanding and strengthening more democratic and sustainable food systems.
Donna Houston, Diana McCallum, Wendy Steele and Jason Byrne
-imagining Food Sovereignty Seasonal and everyday multi-natural relationships in the city involving humans and nonhumans are also realized through connections to food and livelihood providing new insights for how planning could be done differently in a climate
Sarah Besky and Jonathan Padwe
, private and public, individual and collective, rather than symbolically reinforcing these categories. This categorical and territorial slippage is evident in recent movements for “food sovereignty” and food security in the Americas ( Edelman et al. 2014
Civil Society and Urban Agriculture in Europe
Mary P. Corcoran and Joëlle Salomon Cavin
Detroit in the United States. Marian Simon-Rojo, Inés Morales-Bernardos, and Jon Sanz-Landaluze demonstrate how a confluence of circumstances in a global city of the North—Madrid—created the conditions in which a food sovereignty movement could move
A Critical Review
Laura Calvet-Mir and Matthieu Salpeteur
situ conservation of crop diversity; (2) as a counterpart to commercial, market-driven seed circulation systems; and (3) in relation with contemporary food security and food sovereignty challenges ( Demeulenaere 2014 ; see Pautasso et al. 2013 and