Food Sovereignty – April 2022

We’ve been practicing Karma Yoga over the last couple of weeks – our yoga classes have been geared around the theme of giving back to the communities of which we are a part. And Yoga Under the Bodhi Tree donated $700 to Rural Aid for their Flooded Farmers Appeal. We are hoping that this donation together with donations of linen, baby goods and foodstuffs for our NNSW neighbours will be part of a greater movement to help these rural communities get back on their feet.  And supporting our agricultural sector, particularly the smaller farmers, is all part of a food sovereignty movement, started in Latin America in the 1990s by local farmers who wanted to take back the control of food production and decrease the domination of the multinational agri- giants pushing their Roundup, GMO seeds and herbicides and pesticides.

The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) was founded in 2010, by food activists, academics and farmers. A collaboration of organisations and individuals working together towards a food system in which people have the opportunity to choose, create and manage their food supply from paddock to plate. More than 500 individuals, organisations, businesses and farmers are members of the Alliance, including the City of Melbourne.

Food Sovereignty is quite different to Food Security. Food Security is all about stabilising the global food supply by monitoring things like grain reserves and weather patterns and it also encompasses the fight against global hunger. Food security is not concerned with how or from where food is sourced. It often relies upon environmentally destructive, exploitative conditions to meet food demands, as well as subsidies that benefit agribusiness but destroy local producers. Chronic food insecurity in developing countries and sustained rural poverty tell us that clearly, the current Food Security model is failing. Food sovereignty however, attempts to address the root causes of global hunger – primarily the commercialisation of food. By placing food growing in the hands of local people, those people can ensure they do not lose the ability to feed themselves.

Vandana Shiva, ecologist and champion of the Food Sovereignty movement, maintains that the food we eat matters – it makes us who we are, physically, culturally and spiritually. By supporting greater food sovereignty, sustainability and seed rights for local farmers around the world, we are reminded that food and culture are the currency of life. You can’t have one without the other. Shiva also points out that in third world countries, women are the farmers and grow most that country’s food. These women farmers grow food as nourishment, not as commodities. They grow food for health, not disease. Through wars and famines, through floods and droughts, they have kept alive the memory of their seeds and foods. Food sovereignty and regenerative farming techniques hold the potential to lead the transition to regenerate the Earth and support her biodiversity.


    1. Hi Jenny. No I’ve heard of him and have just looked him up! Hes a contributor to the Gaia Foundation which I love so thank you for connecting me.

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