Quantcast

Groups Defending Human Rights to Food and Water Receive Food Sovereignty Prize

Food

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), a network of organizations working to assert food and water as basic human rights and advocate for community control rather than the industrial food model as the solution to world hunger, has named Palestine's Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and Bellingham, Washington's Community to Community Development/Comunidad a Comunidad (C2C) as co-recipients of its 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize.

Workers harvest olives in Palestine. Photo credit: UAWC

While seemingly far-flung, each fights for a community whose access to a reliable food supply is threatened.

Palestine's story is widely known, of course, with news of bombings in the headlines almost every day. But beyond the dramatic and heart-wrenching stories of schools and apartment buildings destroyed and hundreds of civilians, including children killed, is the story of the struggle for daily survival in Gaza and the West Bank.

UAWC aims to mitigate the impacts of war by creating farm cooperatives and seed banks while fighting for the right to food, land and water.

Washington State is not experiencing war, but the situation for the migrant immigrant farm workers, often undocumented, that are essential to its agricultural economy is challenging as well. Community to Community Development helps by developing farm worker-owned cooperatives, organizing a successful nutrition education project called Cocinas Sanas, promoting domestic fair trade, supporting a new farm worker union and organizing a national boycott of Sakuma Farms, which has withheld pay, provided poor housing and retaliated against the workers.

“In honoring Community to Community, the USFSA honors indigenous farmworkers in the U.S. displaced by NAFTA," said C2C executive director Rosalinda Guillen. "These peasant farmers from Mexico are practicing a tradition of struggle for justice. Together, C2C and Familias Unidas are promoting food sovereignty in rural Washington State and challenging the corporate agricultural interests that are controlling our food system."

The prize will be awarded in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 15.

For the sixth year in a row, the Food Sovereignty Prize is an exciting opportunity to highlight the hard work that small-scale farmers, farmworkers and other food producers do to feed their communities and create lasting solutions to the root causes of hunger, climate change and poverty," said Sara Mersha, director of grantmaking and advocacy at Grassroots International. "These successful strategies are the alternative to the damaging effects of the corporate agribusiness model, proving that, in the words of Arundhati Roy, ‘another world is possible [and] she is on her way.’ Grassroots International is proud to stand with the US Food Sovereignty Alliance in recognizing and celebrating this year's winners!” 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Factory Farming: Bad for People, Planet and Economy

Agriculture at a Crossroads: How Food Systems Affect Biodiversity

How Renewable Energy and Organic Farming Helped Revitalize a Small Italian Town

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tuna auctions are a tourist spectacle in Tokyo. Outside the city's most famous fish market, long queues of visitors hoping for a glimpse of the action begin to form at 5 a.m. The attraction is so popular that last October the Tsukiji fish market, in operation since 1935, moved out from the city center to the district of Toyosu to cope with the crowds.

Read More Show Less

gmnicholas / E+ / Getty Images

By Nicole Greenfield

Kristan Porter grew up in a fishing family in the fishing community of Cutler, Maine, where he says all roads lead to one career path: fishing. (Porter's father was the family's lone exception. He suffered from terrible seasickness, and so became a carpenter.) The 49-year-old, who has been working on boats since he was a kid and fishing on his own since 1991, says that the recent warming of Maine's cool coastal waters has yielded unprecedented lobster landings.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
TeamDAF / Getty Images Plus

The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
The Eqip Sermia Glacier is seen behind a moraine left exposed by the glacier's retreat during unseasonably warm weather on Aug. 1 at Eqip Sermia, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Andrew Yang's assertion that people move away from the coast at the last Democratic debate is the completely rational and correct choice for NASA scientists in Greenland.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
hadynyah / E+ / Getty Images

By Johnny Wood

The Ganges is a lifeline for the people of India, spiritually and economically. On its journey from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, it supports fishermen, farmers and an abundance of wildlife.

The river and its tributaries touch the lives of roughly 500 million people. But having flowed for millennia, today it is reaching its capacity for human and industrial waste, while simultaneously being drained for agriculture and municipal use.

Here are some of the challenges the river faces.

Read More Show Less

Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

By Jake Johnson

As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.


Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."


The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.

"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.

As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."

"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

DESIREE MARTIN / AFP / Getty Images

Wildfires raging on Gran Canaria, the second most populous of Spain's Canary Islands, have forced around 9,000 people to evacuate.

Read More Show Less