There is an international movement which aims for food sovereignty and social and environmental justice. Many of the answers to the key questions of hunger and health, environmental degradation, and inequality are already answered; the problem is putting them into practice. The economic and political power structures and institutions that dominate global agriculture and the inequalities in land ownership create serious obstacles to transformation of the food system. The UK is implicated in this, through its own agribusiness corporations, colonial legacy in land grabbing, and consumption patterns that aggravate social and economic injustice and environmental destruction.
We have seen in previous seminars that people in the UK are also struggling against a system that harms the environment, produces poor quality food, and exploits agricultural and food industry workers. Instead we aim for a transformation of the food system to benefit us all. What can we learn from what is happening in the Global South?
- Global Justice (https://www.globaljustice.org.uk/campaigns/food)
- Gabriela Sarmet from Brazil. She has a Masters in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a degree in International Relations from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She is a researcher on socio-environmental conflicts and their colonial legacies, co-founder of Coletivo Decolonial, and is a volunteer & individual associate member of the London Mining Network.
Her presentation will address the colonial legacies behind the lack of food autonomy and food sovereignty in Brazil. The pandemic has exposed the enormous challenges in this country of deep inequalities marked by structural racism. Here the issue of land is central to considering any alternative possibility. For this reason, it will be shared how resistance and land struggle movements have thought and built popular-based alternatives as new paths of political-economic and social organization in the country.
- Kiran: Angry Workers (https://www.angryworkers.org/)
- Chris Smaje is a small-scale farmer in Somerset, former university-based social scientist and the author of ‘A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth’
(Chelsea Green, 2020). He’s a director of The Ecological Land Co-op and a member of the Land Workers’ Alliance. He blogs at www.smallfarmfuture.org.uk.