#FOODSOVPRIZE

Foodfirst.org: Hunger is Political: Food Sovereignty Prize Honors Social Movements

October 16, 2012
16 Oct 2012

 

 

 

 

By Tanya Kerssen

“Hunger is not a question of production, it’s a question of justice, democracy and political will,” said New York community food activist Karen Washington last Wednesday (Oct. 10th) to kick off the Fourth Annual Food Sovereignty Prize ceremony, hosted by WHY Hunger in New York City. Four remarkable organizations were honored at the ceremony, demonstrating the depth and diversity of the global movement for food sovereignty: the Korean Women’s Peasant Association, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers of Florida, the National Fisheries Solidarity Association of Sri Lanka and the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguán, Honduras.

Washington’s opening remarks embodied the spirit of the Food Sovereignty Prize, which was first awarded in 2009 as an alternative to the World Food Prize founded by the late Dr. Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution. Whereas the World Food Prize recognizes technical achievements by individuals, the Food Sovereignty Prize recognizes the work of communities, organizations and social movements to bring about a more just, healthy and sustainable food system.

 

It is an important distinction, one that points to two conflicting views of the causes of hunger: the first, championed by Borlaug and his followers, that hunger is caused by insufficient production in a growing world; and the second, that hunger is caused by the maldistribution of food, wealth, land and political power.

These differing explanations lead to vastly different solutions. The former puts its faith in experts and politicians, located in laboratories and the halls of power, to come up with the “next big thing” such as a new high-yielding or GMO seed. The latter sees solutions largely in the everyday innovations and struggles of farmers, fishers, pastoralists, farmworkers and urban consumers–those most impacted by the injustices of the global food system.

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Care2.com: Food Sovereignty – The Real Prize

October 16, 2012
16 Oct 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Bill Ayres

George Naylor, Iowa farmer and former board president of the National Family Farm Coalition, guest blogs about the upcoming 2012‚ Food Sovereignty Prize.

The World Food Prize was established by Dr. Norman Borlaug, an Iowa native considered to be the father of the Green Revolution, which centered on the laboratory breeding of cereal crops that could increase yields through the application of artificial nitrogen fertilizer without lodging (falling down).

According to the World Food Prize Foundation:

Stuart Ramson/Insider ImagesThe World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing — without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs — the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. By honoring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, The Prize calls attention to what has been done to improve global food security and to what can be accomplished in the future.

Through the years, this has been generalized to glorify all technologies that increase yields without regard for issues of ecology, culture or the concentration of political and economic power through these technologies. The Green Revolution fully ignored the role of democratic policy, which avoids ecological and social costs while ensuring that food production and food producers remain vital to their society and culture. From the perspective of family farmers and peasants who revere Food Sovereignty, sustainable, democratic foods that respect ecology, culture and diversity of economic opportunity offer a lot more than just improving the equality, quantity or availability of food for current and future generations.

Press-Citizen.com: Food sovereignty, the real World Food prize

October 12, 2012
12 Oct 2012

By George Naylor

The World Food Prize was established by Norman Borlaug, an Iowa native considered to be the father of the Green Revolution, which centered on the laboratory breeding of cereal crops that could increase yields through the application of artificial nitrogen fertilizer without lodging (falling down).

Through the years, this has been generalized to glorify all technologies that increase yields without regard for issues of ecology, culture, or the concentration of political and economic power through these technologies.

The Green Revolution fully ignored the role of democratic policy — which avoids ecological and social costs while ensuring that food production and food producers remain vital to their society and culture.

From the perspective of family farmers and peasants who revere “food sovereignty,” sustainable, democratic foods that respect ecology, culture and diversity of economic opportunity offer a lot more than just improving the “quality, quantity or availability of food” for current and future generations.

The mechanization and globalization following World War II has led to urbanization, deteriorated rural communities and industrialized agriculture.

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Viacampesina.org: 2012 World Food Sovereignty Prize: La Via Campesina congratulates the Korean Women’s Peasant Association

October 11, 2012
11 Oct 2012

 

(Jakarta, October 5, 2012) The international farmers movement, La Via Campesina, congratulates its member organization, the Korean Women’s Peasant Association (KWPA), for being selected to receive the fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize on October 10, 2012, in New York City. This event, hosted by WhyHunger and co-sponsored by the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance and allies, champions the grassroots groups that practice and defend the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies.

The Korean Women’s Peasant Association is a national organization of women farmers based in Seoul, South Korea, that has developed the practice of food sovereignty within the framework of women’s rights. The industrial food system has resulted in structures and systems that harm women in ways ranging from devaluing women’s work feeding their families to corporate patenting of seeds developed over generations by women farmers to lower wages and forced labor. South Korea is a male-dominated society and a highly industrialized country, with less than seven percent of the population employed in agriculture. Farmlands are quickly making way for growing cities, the government has signed far-reaching free trade agreements and corporations are taking over the agricultural industry.

In this context, KWPA, alongside the Korean Peasants League and one hundred-plus additional organizations, created the National Campaign Task Force to defend food sovereignty throughout the country. Locally, KWPA runs hands-on training programs: Our Sisters Garden links women farmers and local consumers to ensure a sustainable and healthy food supply while preserving the rights of women peasants; the Native Seed Campaign focuses on native seed preservation in farming communities.

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Grist.org: These grassroots heroes are fighting for food democracy

October 11, 2012
11 Oct 2012

By Claire Thompson

Food sovereignty is a relatively new term, but it draws on a long tradition of human-rights activism and the struggle for social and economic justice. La Via Campesina, a global network of peasants, farmers, and indigenous people working to defend small-scale, sustainable agriculture, is widely credited with introducing the concept in 1996. The organization defines it as:

… the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through sustainable methods and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. [Food sovereignty] develops a model of small scale sustainable production benefiting communities and their environment. It puts the aspirations, needs and livelihoods of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.

It’s not surprising, then, that over a decade later, La Via Campesina won the first annual Food Sovereignty Prize, an award recognizing grassroots groups fighting for a democratic food system. This year marks the fourth time the prize has been awarded, and the first time the ceremony, held in New York City on Oct. 10, will be open to the public.

The award originated at the grassroots just like the groups it honors. Siena Chrisman of WhyHunger, the organization hosting the prize, explains that the idea for it came about in 2009 when the nonprofit Community Food Security Coalition held its annual meeting (a gathering that draws several hundred people from around the progressive food world) in Des Moines, Iowa. It just so happened that the World Food Prize was being awarded in Des Moines the same weekend. The World Food Prize, Chrisman explains, “really focuses on the industrial agriculture model” — rewarding individuals who have made technological innovations in line with Norman Borlaug’s “green revolution,” which introduced the type of high-yield, disease-resistant crops often credited with both alleviating third-world hunger on a mass scale and ushering in the era of pesticide-reliant monocrops.

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Familyfarmers.org: Korean Women’s Peasant Association Wins 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize in New York City! Mrs. Jeomok Bak and Ms. Junkyoung Lee Visit Wisconsin on Midwest Tour Fri. Oct. 12th – Sat. Oct. 13th

October 11, 2012
11 Oct 2012

Family Farm Defenders is extremely proud to host the Wisconsin leg of a Midwest tour by Mrs. Jeomok Bak and Ms. Junkyoung Lee, representatives of the Korean Women’s Peasant Association (KWPA) and recipients of the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize which is being awarded to them in New York City on Wed. Oct. 10th at 7 pm at the National Museum of the American Indian (One Bowling Green, lower Manhattan)

The Food Sovereignty Prize was first awarded in 2009 as an alternative to the World Food Prize founded by “the father of the Green Revolution,” the late Norman Borlaug. While the World Food Prize emphasizes increased production through technology, the Food Sovereignty Prize champions solutions coming from those most impacted by the injustices of the global food system. In honoring those who are taking back their food systems, the Food Sovereignty Prize affirms that nothing short of the true democratization of our food system will enable us to end hunger once and for all.
After their Wisconsin visit, Mrs. Jeomok Bak and Ms. Junkyoung Lee, will continue on to Iowa for another series of public speaking events with other U.S. food sovereignty allies before heading back to South Korea.

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Look To The Stars: Tom Morello To Perform At Food Sovereignty Prize Event

October 11, 2012
11 Oct 2012

Hunger is not a matter of production, but a matter of justice and democracy. In celebration of those grassroots activists working for a more democratic food system, WhyHunger’s fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize champions the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies and the grassroots groups that defend it!

As an alternative to the World Food Prize, the Food Sovereignty Prize honors innovative organizations around the world that are fighting for the right to      food for all and dignity for those who put food on our plates. The ceremony will highlight the work of the Korean Women’s Peasant Association, as well as the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka, the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan Region in Honduras and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from the United States.

Join WhyHunger in honoring the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize winners at an event co-sponsored by the U.S Food Sovereignty Alliance, the Small Planet Fund, the Lawson Valentine Foundation and other organizations to be held on October 10 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York. This year’s ceremony will be officiated by UN Special Rapporteur to the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, with a special musical performance by Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman.

WhyHunger: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY GROUPS, OLIVIER DE SCHUTTER, TOM MORELLO CHALLENGE FOOD SYSTEM STATUS QUO

October 11, 2012
11 Oct 2012

NEW YORK, October 10, 2012 ¬– WhyHunger announced today the winners of the fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize, recognized for their role in ensuring that all people have the right to food. The winners, the Korean Women’s Peasants Association (KWPA), Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) of Sri Lanka and the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan Region (MUCA) of Honduras, are being honored today at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York at a free, public ceremony hosted by WhyHunger, in collaboration with the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, the Small Planet Fund, the Lawson Valentine Foundation and other allied organizations. The ceremony, celebrated as an alternative to the World Food Prize, includes a keynote address by U.N. Special Rappoteur on the Right to Food Olivier de Schutter and a special musical appearance by musician and activist Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman.
“The four organizations being honored today have gone beyond fighting hunger and poverty in their own communities,” said Bill Ayres, Executive Director, WhyHunger. “They are leaders in building a global movement for food sovereignty that demands all people have the right to determine their own food and agriculture policies and ensures equality for those who produce food around the world.”
The Food Sovereignty Prize was born in 2009 and aims to promote the work of grassroots organizations around the world who are most impacted by the injustices of the global food system and who, in turn, are working to change these injustices.
“Food sovereignty does not believe that ending hunger is just about improving efficiency of agricultural production. It moves towards a new vision that stresses the importance of governance reform in order to allow people to reclaim control over the food systems and to hold governments accountable, at all levels, for the impacts of their policies,” said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. Special Rappoteur on the Right to Food and event keynote. “This prize is important as it highlights and celebrates the grassroots organizations that are leading the way to making this vision a reality.”
The honorees are selected for their work to promote food sovereignty by developing and implementing programs and policies, raising awareness, building global networks and prioritizing the leadership of food providers that are marginalized within the system such as women, migrant workers, peasants, indigenous peoples and many more.

“Receiving the Food Sovereignty Prize raises women peasants’ self-esteem. Even though women have been playing a significant role in agriculture, we have been traditionally ignored. Now, with this award the importance of women peasants is being recognized,” said Jeomok Bak, Chairperson of Korean Women Peasants Association. “Moreover, I think all farmers who are working very hard to produce food for people in their own communities deserve this award.”
In the shadows of rising profits for large corporate agriculture and food companies, more individuals and families around the world struggle to feed themselves, more small farmers are forced to defend their land and more fishers must fight for the right to fish local waters. The fight for food sovereignty aims to fix this injustice, while going well beyond ensuring that people have enough food to meet their physical needs. It asserts that people must reclaim their power in the food system by rebuilding the relationships between people and the land, and between food providers and those who eat. Food sovereignty is an approach focused on people and communities, not on corporations and government profits.
“It is my privilege to be a part of this year’s Food Sovereignty Prize Ceremony honoring the work of some of the most impactful grassroots groups who are fighting every day for the right to good food for all people and dignity for those who produce it,” says musician and activist Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman. “I hope that by being a part of the ceremony that my voice can help amplify the voices of the work of these incredible honorees and the millions of farmers, fishers and landless workers who are most impacted by global hunger and poverty, yet continue to work towards food sovereignty and true democracy for all.”
The Food Sovereignty Prize affirms that nothing short of the true democratization of our food system will enable us to end hunger once and for all. The fourth annual event today helps to bring the fight for a just food system to the forefront while honoring the work of the groups who fight for food sovereignty all over the globe, tearing down the myth that there is not enough food to feed the world.