AFSA’s engagement in the international food sovereignty movement has been strengthened with attendance at the General Meeting of the International Planning Committee (IPC) for Food Sovereignty in Gujarat, India from 30 August to 3 September.
“This meeting underlines our responsibility, as the lead food sovereignty alliance in our country and the region, to hold our government to account both at the national level and in global governance forums”, said AFSA President Tammi Jonas, who attended the meeting with Secretary Nick Rose.
“This is a key way in which we can demonstrate and enact our solidarity with our small-scale producer comrades everywhere, but especially from the global south.”
The IPC is an autonomous and self-organised global platform of small-scale food producers and rural workers movements actively advance the Food Sovereignty agenda at the global and regional level.
Facilitating the engagement of civil society in the reformed Committee on World Food Security (CFS) within the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN, the IPC has great capacity to influence policy.
In Gujarat Tammi and Nick met with leading farmer, indigenous, women and fisherfolk organisations from Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia in 40C heat over four days to discuss the progress of negotiations on global food security at the FAO.
The relevance of the engagement with the FAO to Australia is particularly clear in the three areas of agroecology, livestock and access to markets. AFSA has nominated members to join the IPC working groups in each of these areas.
Imogen Ebsworth already represents Australasia as a delegate for the Civil Society Mechanism within the CFS.
AFSA’s involvement in the IPC meeting is the latest step in establishing close personal and working relationships with leaders of the global food sovereignty movement, women’s movement, and indigenous people’s movements.
“It confirms that we are on our way to becoming a member organisation of La Via Campesina, a strategic goal that pre-dated the formation of AFSA.”, said Tammi
Significant for AFSA’s role in the region is the development of ties with farmer movements in India and Asia, and direct integration into the regional structure of the IPC and the FAO.
These outcomes will provide opportunities for significant capacity building, through AFSA representation at regional agroecology forums and regional meetings of the IPC and the FAO.