Strategic Cooperation

Food sovereignty (food sovereignty)

'Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self reliant; to restrict the dumping of products in their markets, and; to provide local fisheries-based communities the priority in managing the use of and the rights to aquatic resources. Food sovereignty does not negate trade, but rather, it promotes the formulation of trade policies and practices that serve the rights of peoples to safe, healthy and ecologically sustainable production.'

"Statement on People's Food Sovereignty" by Via Campesina

Overal projectives:

  • To strengthen local peoples initiatives that promote food sovereignty.
  • To foster effective CSO participation in national and international policy discussions related to food security, biodiversity and trade.
Approach and Focus:
  • Food production encompasses both agricultural and non agricultural activities; food products from the forest, trees and shrubs and other products derived from the wild, animal husbandry, fisheries. For Both ENDS the emphasis is on maintaining such diversity of sources of food, and hence risk aversion.
  • The Southern societies themselves should determine how to produce and trade food products; without such choices being controlled by external forces: IFIs, EU, WTO, large companies, high level technical advisory bodies;
  • Local rural and urban population(s) should be able to produce food to meet their own needs also for income generation;
  • Food production should not undermine biodiversity;
  • Expose (international) corporations and policy makers to the bad effects of conventional monoculture green revolution and GMO-based food production and trade;
  • Offer concrete examples of sustainable approaches to food production and trade;
  • Inventorise and compare projections and scenario's of conventional and sustainable approaches to food demand and supply.

Underlying ratio and strategy:

a) Community approaches to food sovereignty
  • Increased knowledge base on alternative community approaches to food security.
  • Recognition by international institutions of the importance of these approaches as a tangible solution to the current crisis in agriculture and as a valuable contribution to food sovereignty.
  • Increased implementation of these alternative community approaches instead of GMO-based alternatives.
b) Costs and benefits of GMOs
  • Increased knowledge base on GMOs with specific attention for contamination issues and the impact on local environments and peoples' food security.
  • Awareness raising on the impact of GMO contamination on food security.
  • Engagement in policy discussions on GMOs, based on in-depth analysis of the Brazilian soy-case.
c) Participatory and transparent decision processes
  • Increased local NGOs participation in design and monitoring of National Biosafety Laws that are being drafted to implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.
  • Increased knowledge amongst CSOs on the impact of WTO on agriculture
  • Strengthened capacity of NGOs to influence the decision making processes in the relevant international fora and bodies
  • Dutch Gen-tech Coalition recognized as key player in (inter)national debates on GMOs.

Food Sovereignty Resource Centre:
under construction

For more information:
Paul Wolvekamp, at pw(at)
Pieter Jansen, at pj(at)