Beyond COVID-19: The Global People’s Summit on Food Systems
The COVID-19 pandemic both exposed the structural flaws of the global food systems and underscored the urgent need for a truly radical transformation.
We are yet again at a critical turning point in transforming food and agriculture worldwide. It’s not just because the United Nations and intergovernmental processes decided to adopt a supposedly “food systems approach” in transforming the sector.
An unjust, inequitable, unhealthy, and unsustainable food system brought about by global monopolies in agriculture production and trade; by decades of global landgrabs and environmental devastation intended for profit; by unequal treaties and agreements like those under the WTO; by neoliberal reforms bankrolled by the IMF-WB; by national policies that perpetuate corporate and landlord control of lands and agricultural trade; and proliferation of capitalist farms at the expense of smallholder producers and landless rural peoples. This is imperialism in action, with its laws and inherent contradictions underlying the anarchic and wasteful production and consumption of the world’s food.
The extent and intensity of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the government actions at its heels have surfaced and exacerbated long-standing injustices and inequalities in, and unsustainability of global monopoly capitalism, including in the food systems.
The upswell of those in chronic hunger, collapse of local food production, and surge in food price volatility amid Covid-19 point to one thing:
the current neoliberal food system is not working for us, for our people, and for our planet.
We are at a conjunction – either we allow the perpetuation of such food systems or we rise up and transform it. For the deprived and famished, the choice is clear – the people are hungry for change.
To transform our world to one without hunger, without trading off our rights and our planet – towards just, equitable, healthy, and sustainable food systems.
We must reclaim our voices to demand food systems which put our fundamental rights above profit, our planet over corporations, and our sovereignty over monopolies.
It’s time for a true Global People’s Summit for Just, Equitable, Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems.