Thursday, September 30, 2021

NZ Housing Crisis

  The average national house price was hitting between NZ$937,000 and $1m, nearly eight times the annual household income. 

Real Estate Institute data shows there was a 31% increase over the year to July.

Wellington and Auckland have some of the least affordable property markets in the world – homeownership rates in New Zealand have been falling since the early 1990s across all age brackets, but the drop is especially pronounced for people in their 20s and 30s.

 A spokesperson for Consumer NZ, Gemma Rasmussen,  said that with house prices rising so quickly, even high-income millennials will struggle to save for a deposit without the benefit of intergenerational wealth.

 “We’re heading for a place where there are two New Zealands: the people who have property, they’re secure and their capital gains will continue to grow, and then there are people who are locked out.”

‘Haves and have-nots’: how the housing crisis is creating two New Zealands – a photo essay | New Zealand | The Guardian

The World Socialist Party (New Zealand)

P.O. Box 1929
Auckland, NI, New Zealand

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Re-Modelling the Food System

 Food policies across the North Africa region was geared towards the expansion of large-scale, commercial agriculture, attracting foreign investment and big agribusiness, export orientation, and a reliance on imports for domestic food needs and production inputs. 

This came at the expense of broad-based rural development and traditional food systems and cultures. The result has been the impoverishment of rural populations and mass migration to urban areas and abroad.

The North African region could be an area for cooperation and solidarity among its peoples. But this will not be brought about by states and local elites that profit from the continuation and expansion of the current agro-food model, with its “free” trade and liberalization of local markets dramatically undercutting small-scale producers.

A new study by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and the North African Food Sovereignty Network (NAFSN) shows how traditional farming and local food production deteriorated and how food dependency intensified with communities increasingly reliant on imports. More than 50 percent of calories consumed daily in the Arab region are from imported food, with the region spending around $110 billion annually on food importsThe takeover of land, water, and seeds by domestic and foreign capital continued. 

The TNI-NAFSN study argues, this food dependency is a result of market-based policies dictated by global financial institutions (the IMF, World Bank and WTO), reinforced by UN organizations (UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UN Development Programme, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia), and translated into guiding policy frameworks by regional organizations (Arab Organisation for Agricultural Development/the Arab League). National regimes, in turn, followed these prescriptions. This brought prosperity to a few but left many others facing considerable hardship as markets, resources and policies are increasingly dominated by a handful of powerful corporate actors. 

The economic dislocation wrought by the pandemic has led to a surge in the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition in a region in which, even prior to Covid-19, a significant share of the population experienced food insecurity.

According to the TNI-NAFSN study, small-scale food producers have been among the hardest hit by the closure of food markets (as in Morocco or Tunisia), declining sales of food and agricultural products, and difficulty accessing key production inputs.

Governments and institutional actors across the region have responded to the health and economic crisis in a number of ways, including intervening more assertively in the trade of key foodstuffs, extending emergency aid to various sections of society. However, these measures did not address the root causes of the crisis.

International and regional institutions recommended more or less the same policies as before, with minor adjustments to mitigate negative effects, rather than transforming food systems for social justice and sustainability. Essentially, they recommended perpetuating dependency on global agro-food markets and private capital as key mechanisms to deliver food security in the region. This business-as-usual approach continues to tie people’s food supply to the market mechanisms that prioritize profit for private corporations and the delivery of hard currency to cover the state’s debt obligations.

The TNI-NAFSN study argues the severity of the crisis requires a change of direction — one that is geared towards the rights and agency of laborers and small-scale producers, agro-ecology, and the complete elimination of the structural causes of food dependency and the lack of food sovereignty. By politicizing food systems and putting issues around democratic control at the heart of decision-making, food sovereignty thus offers a radically different pathway out of the current crisis.

COVID-19: A Just Recovery for North Africa’s Food – Consortiumnews

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Quote of the Day

 Build back better. Blah, blah, blah. Green economy. Blah blah blah. Net zero by 2050. Blah, blah, blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders. Words that sound great but so far have not led to action. Our hopes and ambitions drown in their empty promises. Of course, we need constructive dialogue. But they’ve now had 30 years of blah, blah, blah and where has that led us?" 

Greta Thunberg in a speech to the Youth4Climate summit in Milan, Italy. 

Death (in prison) of a guerrilla

 On 13 September the ex-Maoist guerrilla leader Abimael Guzman died in a prison in Peru where he had been for nearly thirty years. He has been portrayed by the Peruvian and world capitalist press as one of the most criminal and brutal ‘Marxist’ leaders in the world, blamed for the death of more than 80,000 people and the destruction of private and government property

He was the founder of ‘Gonzalo thought’ (like Mao Tse Tung thought) and he created his own cult of personality, seeing himself as one of the ‘four swords’ of Marxism, after Marx, Lenin and Mao. He travelled to China in 1966 and 1967 during the Cultural Revolution and was part of the split of the Communist Party of Peru (Red Flag). Mao’s Little Red Book became his Bible. When he returned to Peru, he formed a guerrilla group along called Shining  Path with some of his professors and young students who came from peasant families,

The name Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso) was taken from José Carlos Mariategui, a Peruvian Marxist-Leninist who had founded Peru’s first Communist Party in 1928 and who advocated a peasant/indigenous peoples ‘socialism’. His maxim was: ‘El Marxismo-Leninismo abrirá el sendero luminoso hacia la revolución’ (‘Marxism-Leninism will open the shining path to revolution’). Many political movements were inspired by his writings including the Tupamaros in Uruguay and Evo Morales’ indigenous people's movement in Bolivia. Three ex-leaders of these guerrilla movements became presidents in Latin America and allies of the ruling class and the corporations.

Was Guzman really a communist, or a Marxist? Were Mao and Lenin genuine Marxist and socialists? Are Leninism and Maoism socialist/communist currents? Can the crimes that were committed by him be blamed on Marxism and Socialism?

The Socialist Party and the World Socialist Movement have indicated for decades that neither Leninism, Stalinism or Maoism have ever been Marxist or socialist conceptions; that, instead, they were representative of an economic current named by Engels as State Capitalism; that the concept of a violent uprising was a tactic created by Lenin and the Bolsheviks to overthrow the government of Russia; and that idea was borrowed from the Blanquists. It was not a Marxist conception.  Shining Path’s first action was to attack a polling station and burn it down, rejecting Marx political view of the political education of the working class, and the revolutionary use of the ballot and universal suffrage by the working class.

In Latin America, Maoism was a complete failure from the first time that it was adopted by several organizations that had abandoned Castroism. It sacrificed the lives of many young people who became members of the urban guerrillas and infiltrated themselves in the workers’ unions or went to the mountains or jungles of several countries in Latin America and were assassinated by the police or the armed forces, as were many peasants and members of the workers’ unions, university teachers, and young professionals.

Maoism’s failure in Latin America is a clear indication that a minority group of individuals will not liberate the working class and humanity. It proves that Marx was correct when he wrote that only the working class can liberate itself. Maoism was a case of what Engels criticised as a conscious minority acting in the name of an unconscious majority. But socialism cannot be established without a class conscious working class

Mao Tse Tung thought attracted many young peoples in different countries in Latin America including the Caribbean islands as an ideological replacement for Castroism, but in essence, it was the same adventurist movement advocated by Regis Debray who fought in Bolivia with Che Guevara. The main attraction was the concept of ‘anti-revisionism’ started by China and Albania against the Khruschevites. It claimed to be a restoration of true socialism and true Marxism, but it was only a variety of Leninism and Stalinism. Maoism was Chinese nationalism like Castroism was Latin American nationalism.

Latin American Maoism was basically a nationalist/patriotic movement, and all the so-called Communist parties that were created were nationalists’ parties of the countries where they were formed. None of them had a socialist programme; their programme was for reforms, statism and the nationalization of natural resources.

It was mainly a movement among young people and university students. It never had any incidence within the industrial working class. Although many Marxist-Leninist parties sent their best cadres to work with the peasants, it never became a peasants’ movement; it was some capitalist governments that provided the peasants with what they wanted – land reform, agricultural equipment and supplies. They confronted a force that was stronger than them, the forces of the capitalist state, and suffered the consequences.

When China openly opted for state-run capitalism and collaboration with the Western powers and Western corporations all these organizations collapsed, and they disbanded themselves. Some of their leaders were killed or deported; others later became government ministers. The USA wanted them to leave and provided visas for them to emigrate, but they were no threat to capital and to the capitalist society; they were anti-imperialists, but they were not anti-capitalists.

The new government of Peru did not want to bury Abimael Guzman’s body, claiming, like any other capitalist country, so-called national security. So his body was cremated and the ashes scattered at a secret location.  Maoism and the Shining Path are no longer popular within any section of Peruvian society or a threat to security. In the beginning, they had some support within the peasant class, but then the peasants were caught in the cross-fire between the Maoist guerrilla fighters and the government’s armed forces and many peasants were killed. Maoism is a dead movement in Peru today, and most of the members of Guzman’s group became part of some gang and of the drug traffic.

Many of the deaths blamed on Shining Path and Guzman were not committed by them. The police, the paramilitary and the armed forces should be blamed for most of the killings, like most of the killings committed in Colombia in the fight with the Maoist/Castroist guerrillas known as the FARC. Another group is not a socialist or Marxist either, as the media has propagated. Being related and armed by Cuba does not turn a group into a socialist one. Nor were the Tupamaros in Uruguay socialist or Marxist movement (one of their ex-leaders later became president) but were like a Robin Hood movement of taking money from the rich to give it to the poor

Maoism in Latin America showed its terrorist and anti-working-class nature, and it is a total negation of the revolutionary nature of Marxism and socialism  It is the capitalist press and the anti-communists who labelled Guzman and those like him ‘Marxist’, just as they have the Colombian FARC.

Maoism could not have been applied in large capitalist developed countries like the USA, Britain, and Germany. It was basically the theory for a peasants’ movement, similar to the Russian populists (Narodniks) who, too, did not have any incidence within the peasants and ended up using terrorist tactics. It could only be applied in Third World countries, but despite that, it was a complete failure in all the economically backward countries where it tried to take control of the nation and the state apparatus. It turned out to be not at all a shining path


Just the Same as Livestock

 There has long been a deep divide between vegetarians and meat-eaters, originally based on the ethics of protecting animals from cruelty and promoting the welfare of livestock. In recent years the issue has become a crucial one in the climate change debate as the rearing of livestock to meet the demand of meat-eaters has been found to have serious implications for carbon emissions. However, too often those who work in the meat industry have had their well-being neglected.  

A Guardian investigation has found meat companies across Europe have been hiring thousands of workers through subcontractors, agencies and bogus co-operatives on inferior pay and conditions. Europe’s £190bn meat industry has become a global hotspot for outsourced labour, with a floating cohort of workers, many of whom are migrants, 

with some earning 40% to 50% less than directly employed staff in the same factories. The Guardian uncovered evidence of a two-tier employment system with workers subjected to sub-standard pay and conditions to fulfil the meat industry’s need for a replenishable source of low-paid, hyper-flexible workers with unions estimating that thousands of workers in some countries are precariously employed through subcontractors and agencies. These precarious workers often have undefined working hours, zero-hours contracts, bogus self-employed status and no sick pay. Workers describe living in an extremely precarious state in countries where they do not speak the language and therefore struggle to understand their agreements and legal rights.

“The system is sick everywhere across Europe. It’s based on cheap prices for meat, on the exploitation of labour,” said Enrico Somaglia, deputy secretary general of the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. “You have workers elbow to elbow doing the same work, but under different conditions.”

In the Netherlands – one of Europe’s largest meat exporters with sales worth €8.8bn (£7.5bn) last year – the labour inspectorate said migrants, primarily on precarious contracts, make up to 90% of the workforce.

“They can fire you instantly and you can lose everything,” said a Romanian worker in the Netherlands.

“Migrant workers in the meat industry are an invisible group,” says Martijn Huysmans, assistant professor at Utrecht University School of Economics. “In Dutch stores you can see what kind of life an animal has had – we have a star system for animal welfare. But ironically, you can’t see what conditions people in the slaughterhouse were working under.”

‘The whole system is rotten’: life inside Europe’s meat industry | Meat industry | The Guardian

Revealed: exploitation of meat plant workers rife across UK and Europe | Meat industry | The Guardian

Monday, September 27, 2021

Anti-Tory Protests. Make these Anti-Capitalist

 The Tory Party Conference is taking place in Manchester at the start of October, and the People’s Assembly are organising a number of related events. See .

 There will be a big march and demo on Sunday 3 October at 12.00, assembling on Oxford Road near Whitworth Park, M14 4PW (this is just past the main University of Manchester buildings, and next to Manchester Royal Infirmary). Members who already have plenty of leaflets and back issues of the Standard can go straight there if they wish.

However, there are likely to be thousands of people at the starting point, so it might be better for members to meet at 12.00, also on Oxford Road but closer to the city centre. I suggest meeting outside the Eighth Day, a vegetarian shop and cafe (111 Oxford Road, M1 7DU); this is opposite All Saints Park.

 The nearest train station is Oxford Road, and the nearest tram stop is St. Peter’s Square. We can distribute leaflets to members (and please bring any you have), and either walk towards the start of the march or wait till it reaches us. The march appears to be routed up Oxford Road and then over to Deansgate/Castlefield.

Various other events are taking place on the Saturday, Monday and Tuesday of the Conference; see the above web page. Many of these will be held in a marquee in Piccadilly Gardens.

Sunday, September 26, 2021



The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) has called for a national Uber strike on Tuesday September 28th.

 The strike is expected to be observed in at least eight cities, with demonstrations planned to start at 1pm on the day in each of the following locations:

Aston Cross Business Park, Ground Floor, Fazeley House, 50 Rocky Ln, Birmingham B6 5RQ

The Coach house, Uber, Upper York St, Bristol BS2 8QN

The Pentagon Centre, BizSpace, 36 Washington St, Glasgow G3 8AZ

Unit 58, Flexspace, Burley Road, Leeds LS4 2PU

Uber Greenlight Hub London, Beaufort House, 15 St Botolph St, London EC3A 7DT

Building 4, Devonshire St North, Manchester M12 6JH

Unit C, King Edward Court, Nottingham NG1 1EL

Spaces Acero, 1 Concourse Way, Sheffield S1 2BJ

Explaining the issues and demands behind the strike, the ADCU write:
"There are three key points of dispute which has now led this to latest strike action:

· Uber’s failure to implement the Supreme Court ruling and pay waiting time which makes up around 40% of an Uber driver’s working time.

· The introduction of fixed price fares and the abandonment of variable fares which were based on actual time and distance travelled. This has led to reduced driver incomes and greater financial risk.

· Unfair dismissals without recourse. Uber’s introduction of a flawed real time identification and surveillance system in particular has led to many drivers being wrongly dismissed without right of appeal.

The union is making three key demands of Uber to immediately remedy the situation:

· Uber to pay all working time including waiting time and respect the Supreme Court ruling.

· An end to up front pricing, an increase of fares from £1.25 per mile to £2.00 per mile and for Uber to reduce its commission take from 25% to 15%.

· An end to unfair dismissals without right of appeal. Uber must also withdraw the use of the so-called Real Time ID surveillance and facial recognition system."

The IWGB/UPHD are also planning a public protest in London to coincide with their strike, asking supporters to:
"Bring your car & join us to strike & protest together on 6 October at 10am.
Meeting point: 10am at ASDA Car Park, Stepney Green, 123 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ
Then drive to protest location at: Uber HQ, Aldgate Tower, London E1 8QN for 11am."

Uber drivers to strike on September 28th and October 6th (

The Health and SafetyToll

 The WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-Related Burden of Disease and Injury, 2000-2016, conducted before the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, gives a glimpse of the terrible toll taken on the international working class by the insatiable profit drive of the corporations.

The year 2016, shows that workplace-related diseases and injuries led to the deaths of 1.9 million people.

Globally, 34.3 out of every 100,000 people over age 15 die each year from work-related causes.

The WHO/ILO study was compiled using strict statistical standards with the collaboration of more than 220 experts from 35 countries. It considers risk factors, including exposure to carcinogens, air pollution, workplace injuries and long working hours.

 It concluded that long work hours, 55 or more per week, was the largest single contributor to worker mortality, accounting for 750,000 deaths annually. Workplace exposure to air pollution was responsible for 450,000 deaths. Occupational injuries killed 360,000 annually.

The WHO/ILO study examined 41 selected pairs of occupational risk factors and health outcomes. 

In 2016, 1.88 million deaths and 89.72 million disability-adjusted life years (DALY) were estimated to be caused by 41 occupational risk pairs. Non-communicable diseases accounted for 81 percent of occupational deaths. This included 450,000 deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (400,000 deaths) and ischemic heart disease (350,000 deaths), mostly related to long work hours.

In addition to overwork, huge numbers of workers fall victim to numerous other hazards. The next leading cause of workplace deaths is occupational exposure to particulate matter, gases and fumes, and occupational injuries. These categories account for 450,381 and 363,283 deaths each year, respectively.

“All of these deaths are preventable,” International Labour Organization chief Guy Ryder correctly noted in a video message on the report. “We can and we must ensure safe and healthy workplaces for all workers.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, stated, “It’s shocking to see so many people literally being killed by their jobs. Our report is a wake-up call to countries and businesses to improve and protect the health and safety of workers by honouring their commitments to provide universal coverage of occupational health and safety services.”

However, such pleas are sure to fall on deaf ears. Indeed, The WHO/ILO report was barely noted by the corporate media.

The report demonstrates the inability of the capitalist system, despite vast technological advances, to provide the basic minimum standards for a healthy work environment. 

The barbaric conditions laid bare in this report point to the necessity of a global struggle against the source of the problem, capitalism.

WHO/ILO Study Says Nearly 2 Million Workers Globally Die From Work-related Issues Each Year| Countercurrents

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Vaccine Nationalism Confirmed

 After speaking with current and former negotiators, United Nations representatives, NGO officials, and politicians, Investigate Europe reported Thursday that "access for all was never a priority" in initial vaccine procurement talks.

A negotiator told the news outlet that "there was strong nationalism on the European level."

"The words 'global public goods' are an empty shell," said another unnamed negotiator.

Negotiators claimed in interviews with Investigate Europe that "their hands were tied" in price talks with pharmaceutical companies because of the "lucrative contracts already signed by the United States."

 Another said that "Big Pharma are very good at pressuring."

"If you don't sign their contracts," the unnamed negotiator said, "others will do."

The People's Vaccine Alliance, a global coalition of more than 70 humanitarian and public health organizations, tweeted that Investigate Europe's story "details what we suspected all along."

"Vaccine nationalism and pharma profits trumped Covid solidarity."

Moderna, Pfizer, and the latter's German partner BioNTech "have reaped over $60 billion in jab sales in 2021 and 2022," Investigate Europe observed. 

Moderna hasn't delivered a single vaccine dose to a low-income nation thus far, according to an Amnesty International report published earlier this week.

"Documents seen by the Financial Times revealed that Pfizer's vaccine now fetches €19.50 against €15.50 previously," the outlet noted. "Similarly, a dose of Moderna costs $25.50 (€21.60), up from $22.50 in the first deal, although down from $28.50 in the second."

Anna Marriott, policy lead for the People's Vaccine Alliance, told Investigate Europe that "vaccine corporations have been greedy," effectively getting taxpayers to pay for vaccines three times over.

"First with billions for research, then with bloated prices draining public funds, and finally because they're paying little in taxes," said Marriott.

Probe of Secret Vaccine Talks Finds 'Access for All Was Never a Priority' (

Friday, September 24, 2021

Food Politics


Worldwide, more than 2 billion people don’t have enough to eat, while 2 billion are overweight or obese, and nearly a third of the food that gets produced is wasted and ends up discarded

 According to Michael Fakhri, the UN’s special rapporteur on food rights, the UN global food summit,  is being led by scientists and research institutes who are pro-corporate sector. People say, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, let’s see if it is the ‘people’s summit’ it is claiming to be. But they have failed in what they had set out to do. It is not the people’s summit. It is elitist.

His is not the only criticism, Hundreds of organisations and NGOs representing small-scale and subsistence food producers, consumers and environmentalists are protesting about the summit for being undemocratic, non-transparent and focused only on strengthening only one food system: that backed by the big corporations. An online alternative forum in July, running in parallel with the pre-summit meeting in Rome, attracted about 9,000 participants. This week, even more, are expected. The counter summit’s slogan is “Farmers, not corporations, feed the world”, puts clearly the contending visions: it’s about the conflict between agribusiness on the one hand and small-scale producers, the civil society supporting them and agroecological science on the other.

The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems added its dissenting voice to how the Summit operates. “From the start, the Summit threatened to replace democratic debate with increasingly unaccountable modes of decision-making… the Summit’s rules of engagement were determined by a small set of actors. The private sector, organizations serving the private sector (notably the World Economic Forum), and a handful of scientific experts kick-started the process and framed the agenda…”It concluded that the Summit is being used to promote a new science panel – an ‘IPCC for Food’ – falls short in several respects: it is non-transparent; imbalanced in its composition and biased in its perspectives and sources of knowledge; unreflexive about the relationships between food systems and society; and is pursuing a business-oriented 'technology and innovation' agenda."

Why is the summit facing such widespread opposition? The main reason is that organisers have given agribusiness a lead role in the process and largely ignored the social movements and small farmers’ organisations around the world that produce a third of all food. As a result, the summit will unavoidably push for an industrialised and corporate-driven food system, undermining the future of the millions of small-scale farmers, fishers, herders, food vendors and processors across the world. Worldwide, 70% of food is produced by small farmers, who use only one-quarter of total farmland.

Johanna Jacobi, an environmental scientist and professor of agroecological transitions at the Swiss federal institute of technology ETH Zurich, explains Small producers are facing cut-throat competition for land, water and market access from corporations and large landowners, who control 70% of global agricultural land but only produce up to 40% of the food, as Jacobi outlines. “And it is precisely these big players’ representatives that are leading the world food summit,”

Stephen Rist, a professor of human geography and critical sustainability research at the University of Bern, cites ecological and social reasons for boycotting the summit. As he explains, the organisers are pursuing strategies and approaches that will not solve the main problems underlying today’s food systems but will actually exacerbate them. For the past six years, Rist has headed an international research project on nutritional sustainability. This has found that smallholder and family-run farms, in contrast to monocultures from large-scale plantations, grow food in a manner that is very close to the principles of agroecology.

“Their main problem is not that they don’t know how to produce food ecologically and sustainably, but that the extra work involved is not fairly remunerated by the markets,” says Rist. “The agro-industrial focus also overlooks the fact that the globally organised large companies and corporations are primarily responsible for the bulk of food waste,” Rist adds. It is important, he believes, to put forward a clear alternative, namely agroecology as a practice, a social movement and science.

 A report by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development showed profits for large food companies escalating, while people producing, processing and distributing food were trapped in poverty and hunger. It calls for a “revolution” to place small rural farmers, who produce a third of the planet’s food, at the centre of the world’s food systems.

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), representing some 200 million small-scale food producers in its continent-wide network, directly challenged  Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and its claim to represent Africa. AFSA sent a letter to AGRA donors signed by 160 international organisations demanding an end to funding for failing Green Revolution projects, speaking out about what it seeks from agriculture and life: food that is both healthful and nourishing and produced in a way that is not harmful to the environment and is culturally suitable.

AGRA promised to double yields and incomes for 30 million families while cutting food insecurity by half in 13 African countries by 2020. Over the last decade, AGRA acquired funding of nearly $1 billion and spent half a billion dollars advancing the use of genetically modified and hybrid seeds, commercial fossil fuel-based fertilizers, and chemical pesticides. In AGRA’s 13 focus countries, hunger has increased 30%, as farmers were pushed to abandon nutritious, traditional farming practices to focus on monoculture fields of cash crops.

AFSA opposes philanthrocapitalists like Bill Gates, Western governments, foreign aid organisations, multinational corporations and certain African governments who are pushing policies of industrial agriculture, spending billions to sway governments to opt for agrochemicals, genetically modified organisms and high technology.  The goal is to take Africa down the path of industrial monoculture rather than promote agroecology.

La Vía Campesina is one of the world’s largest social movements. Made up of 200 million small farmers, peasants, farmworkers, and indigenous peoples, has long advocated the idea of food sovereignty, the right of peoples to control and defend their own food systems using healthy, agro-ecological methods.

The UN Food Systems Summit is based on the assumption that global food systems will become more sustainable only if agro-industrial food production continues to expand.” The negative consequences of agribusiness, such as deforestation, soil and water pollution, risks to human health and animal diversity, land grabbing and food speculation, are being swept under the carpet and brushed aside. 

The agro-industrial food system uses a lot of fossil energy, pesticides, commercial seeds and artificial fertilizers to produce food. It is not a sensible strategy to seek to turn the basic problem underlying today’s farming methods into a solution.