The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) is a farmer-led civil society organisation of people working together towards socially-just and ecologically-sound food and agriculture systems that foster the democratic participation of Indigenous Peoples, smallholders, and local communities in decision making processes.
AFSA Values & Theory of Change
We uphold the 7 Pillars of Food Sovereignty:
Food for people
Builds knowledge and skills
Works with nature
Values food providers
Localises food systems
Puts control locally
Food is sacred
We value our relationships with Land, water, and sky, and strive to care for Country and promote First Peoples’ sovereignty in everything we do. We value biodiversity, and support agroecological food production that protects Land, people, and the more-than-human world.
We listen to First Peoples at every opportunity and promote their rights to voice, treaty, and truth as expressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We are embracing custodial ethics, locating our practices, and expressing solidarities with Traditional Custodians on all food sovereignty issues.
We support the movement away from the corporate-controlled, exploitative capitalist food system, which is shaped by unequal systems of power and oppression, and produces commodities for profit instead of food for people. Our solutions must dismantle systemic food injustices rooted in colonialism.
We value all parts of nature over profits. We acknowledge and respect everyone’s work in the food system, including unpaid, underpaid, and devalued labour. We work to honour culture and conviviality, and to protect and restore food literacy and traditional, non-industrial ways of growing, preparing, sharing, and eating food as a community.
We prioritise community, collaboration, mutual aid, horizontal knowledge exchanges, and equality, seeing them as necessary for and complimentary to individual autonomy. We reject any ideology that promotes individual rights over human rights.
We are concerned about the way the state tries to simplify things that are inherently complex such as agro-ecosystems, food economies, public health, water rights and food security through narrow policy and legislation, but we are not ‘anti-government’.
We seek to localise decision making, replacing the state where possible with smaller-scale, democratic collectives that organically emerge, such as citizens’ assemblies that allow direct democratic participation in decision making in local communities, and farmers’ and workers’ cooperatives to regain control of the means of production, distribution, and communication.
We are an anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, pro-collectivist organisation working to build solidarity across movements working for food sovereignty, food security, climate action, workers’ rights, and against extractive industries. We embrace degrowth as a politics and a practice. Our members embrace a broad spectrum of political ideologies, but as an Alliance, we do not identify with singular labels – we are a pluralist movement.
We are reformists AND radicals, focusing on practical alternatives (e.g. community-supported agriculture, agroecological farming, community food initiatives, food hubs) as a way to create ecologically-sound and socially-just food and agriculture systems. We connect these actions with a social movement approach, integrating the goal of destroying the power structures of capitalism. Without this radical transformation, practical actions are at risk of co-optation by neoliberalism.