By Alana Mann (auth.)
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Through global organising, high-level lobbying activities and alternative media platforms, La Via Campesina members are adding a new dimension to their place-based campaigns; through multi-scale strategies they are testing the permeability of domestic and international institutions to political dissent and transformative change. This book provides some perspectives on their inspiring efforts. Part I 2 An Undemocratic Food System In 2009, Bill Gates, champion of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), delivered a keynote address on agriculture at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.
Resulting in extreme concentration of production and insurmountable inequality among producers. As a result, farmers throughout the Global North are trapped in a ‘cost-price squeeze’, while distorted competition from cheap exports has ruined largely unsubsidised farmer livelihoods in the Global South. In contesting the food enterprise discourse of the neoliberal model, the radical movements extend the rights frame of food sovereignty to the promotion of the peasant farmer as a viable economic entity (Holt-Gimènez & Shattuck, 2011).
State deregulation passes governance of the food chain to retailers, who exercise technical, discursive and social power over producers, who must abide by standards to compete with other suppliers. Freidberg interprets the exercise of this power as a new form of ‘postcoloniality’ that passes additional costs and risks to producers, particularly exporters of the Global South. Food scares now travel across borders as a result of global trade, resulting in a need for more international regulation and oversight.