Annex: La Via Campesina call to action

La Via Campesina call to action to stop the current food crisis — published, June 2022.142

In the light of the multiple crises we are currently facing, and the exacerbation of poverty and inequality, War on Want fully supports La Via Campesina’s recent call to take immediate actions for a more just agrifood system towards food sovereignty for all and to end the current food crisis, fuelled by speculation and greed. 

In the statement below, the full list of demands is published. 

“We demand immediate action to: 

  • End of speculation on food and the suspension of trading food products on stock markets. Future contracts on agricultural products should be immediately forbidden. The price of food traded internationally should be linked with the costs of production and follow the principles of fair trade, both for producers and for consumers; 

  • End of the WTO’s control of food trade and keep agriculture out of free trade agreements. In particular, WTO’s criminal rules that prevent countries from developing public food stockpiling and market and price regulation should be immediately removed, so that countries can develop the necessary public policy to support small-scale food producers in this challenging context; 

  • Call an emergency meeting of the Committee on Food Security and the creation of a new international body to conduct transparent negotiations on commodity agreements between exporting and importing countries so that countries which have become dependent on food imports can have access to food at an accessible price; 

  • Forbid the use of agricultural products to produce agrofuel or energy. Food should be an absolute priority over fuel. 

  • Bring a global moratorium on the payment of the public debt by the most vulnerable countries. In the current context, pressuring some very vulnerable countries to pay the debt is highly unresponsible and leads to socio, economic, and food crises. Put an end to the IMF’s pressures to dismantle national public policies and public services. We call for the cancellation of the illegitimate external public debt in developing countries. 

We demand radical changes in international, regional and national policies to re-build food sovereignty through: 

  • A radical change in international trade order. The WTO should be dismantled. A new global framework for trade and agriculture, based on food sovereignty, should open the way for strengthening local and national peasant agriculture, to ensure a stable basis for a relocalised food production, the support for local and national peasant-led markets, as well as to provide a fair international trading system based on cooperation and solidarity rather than competition and speculation; 

  • The implementation of popular and integral Agrarian Reform, to stop the grabbing by Transnational Corporations (TNCs) of water, seeds and land, and ensure small-scale producers fair rights over productive resources. We protest against the privatisation and grabbing of territories and commons by corporate interests under the pretext of nature protection, through carbon markets or other biodiversity off-sets programs, without consideration to the people who are living on these territories and who have been taking care of the commons for generations. 

  • A radical shift towards agroecology to produce healthy food in quantity and quality for the whole population. We must bear in mind that the climate and environmental crisis will be our great challenge in this current context. We must face the challenge of producing enough quality food while reviving biodiversity and drastically reducing GHG emissions. 

  • Effective regulation of the market of inputs (such as credits, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, fuel) to support peasants’ capacity to produce food, but also to ensure a fair and well-planned transition toward more agroecological farming practices. 

  • A food governance based on the people, not on TNCs. At the global, regional, national and local levels, the capture of food governance by TNCs should be stopped, and people’s interests should be put at the centre. Small producers should be given a vital role in all bodies dealing with food governance; 

  • The transformation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants into a legally binding instrument for the defence of rural peoples. 

  • The development in every country of public stockpiling capacities. The strategy of food stockpiling should be held both at the national level but also through the creation and public support to food reserves at the community level with locally produced food coming from agroecological farming practices; 

  • A global moratorium on dangerous technologies that threatens humanity, such as geoengineering, GMOs or cellular meat. The promotion of low-cost techniques that increase peasant autonomy and of peasant’s seeds. 

  • The development of public policies to ensure new relationships between those who produce food and those who consume, those who live in rural areas and those who live in urban areas, guaranteeing fair prices defined based on the cost of production, allowing a decent income for all those who produce in the countryside and a fair access to healthy food for the consumers. 

  • The promotion of new gender relations based on equality and respect, both for people living in the countryside and among the urban working class. The violence against women must stop now. 

  • 142La Via Campesina, “LVC Statement | Stop the food crisis! Build Food sovereignty, NOW!”, June 2022: