How agroindustry mistreats us
Those of us who elaborate this manifesto consider it necessary to affirm, once again, our firm commitment to achieve a more fair and united society. In the current context of climate change and global food crisis, it is essential to guarantee the rights of peasants and the Food Sovereignty of the peoples.
During the conference "Agroecology or barbarism: how agroindustry mistreats us", organized in June by the Working Group on Migration and Rural Work of the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), we were able to analyse the terrible consequences of the agroindustrial model of food production, a business that continues to uncontrollably expand its power, threatening any possibility of enjoying a dignified life in our territories.
Agribusiness has multiple negative impacts that irreparably affect the health of people and ecosystems, with the complicit consent of our governments and the ignorance of the majority of society. It also prevents and destroys any possibility of developing a peasant economy in rural areas, illegitimately appropriates our common goods and considers that all living beings that are part of nature are commodities that it can dispose of at will to continue to fatten its profits in an unlimited way.
For all these reasons,
WE DENOUNCE THAT:
- Agribusiness is the product of decades of neoliberal policies promoted by the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). The development of the capitalist economy has generated a form of neo-feudalism and accumulation of power, whose strategy of expansion consists of land grabbing, which is no longer at the service of the common good but in the economic interests of a very limited number of transnational corporations (such as Surexport, Driscoll, etc.).
- Agro-industry reproduces the roles of patriarchy, exercising direct violence against women, especially those who are in situations of maximum vulnerability.
- Agribusiness is a colonialist and racist model that takes advantage with impunity of migrants and all those who find themselves in a situation of defenselessness due to different circumstances. Its profits are the result of the slave exploitation of labour in subhuman working conditions, the unscrupulous abuse of workers and the systematic violation of the most fundamental human rights.
- Agribusiness is an industrial activity managed by an oligopoly of transnational corporations that dramatically increases the inequality between the countries of the North and the global South, generating conflicts and violence and condemning the vast majority of the world's population to live in situations of hardship, hunger and enormous suffering.
- Agro-industry consumes an excessive amount of water and depletes the aquifers on which all living beings depend, destroying the balance and biodiversity of the ecosystems and seriously increasing the proportion of the population whose access to such an essential commodity is restricted.
- Agribusiness uses tons of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, poisoning the land we inhabit, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
- Agribusiness is the biggest cause of deforestation on the planet and generates the necessary conditions for the development of zoonoses, the massive extinction of pollinating insects, or the fires that ravage our rural environment, among others.
- Agro-industry is an intensive consumer of energy in the form of fossil fuels, producing a large amount of CO2 emissions, aggravating the climate crisis and contributing to global warming. In addition, it also generates many other types of waste such as: plastics, slurry, antibiotics, etc., which are released without control and invade numerous habitats of incalculable value, collapsing them and turning them into unrecoverable sacrifice zones.
- Agro-industry over-exploits the soil, which is the major cause of soil degradation worldwide, eroding its fertility and making it more vulnerable to desertification.
- Agribusiness expels peasants from their homes and territories, destroying rural and agrarian communities, their culture, their knowledge and their capacity to produce nutritious and healthy food while taking care of the habitat with an adequate management of agroecosystems.
- Agribusiness encourages the export of food over long distances, destroying short circuits of local production and consumption and increasing international flows of goods transport that increase the ecological footprint of the food system.
- Agribusiness appropriates most of the profits generated in the value chain, dominates and controls the food distribution markets and the production of inputs and machinery, imposing abusive prices and conditions that affect the economic viability of the most sustainable agricultural activity, generating dependence on its technologies and dangerously reducing the genetic variability of the plant and animal species from which we feed ourselves.
- Agribusiness favours inadequate diets and eating habits, flooding the world with huge quantities of ultra-processed products containing high levels of fats, sugars and animal protein, being the main cause of the increase in obesity, cancer and many other types of serious health conditions, increasingly widespread among the population.
- Agribusiness exerts a powerful influence over the bodies and institutions that decide on agri-food policies, violating the sovereignty of the people and shamefully degrading the democratic quality of our governance systems.
- Agribusiness imposes a global food regime conditioned by market logics to extract economic benefits and by its absolute dependence on fossil fuels, condemning us to a permanent food insecurity that puts the reproduction of life itself at constant risk.
- Peasant agroecology is the only one that can truly feed us while taking care of people and the planet, allowing its conservation for future generations. Agribusiness dangerously threatens the possibility of achieving these goals. These two models are definitely incompatible and cannot coexist.
- We demand a radical transformation of the agri-food system through public policies that cease to be at the service of capital and operate in favour of life, democracy and socio-environmental justice.
- We demand the support of public policies for the development of agroecology and other alternatives for the reduction of energy and material consumption in production processes, also encouraging the increase of local food production and distribution.
- We demand the effective implementation of the articles approved in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP).
- We demand the immediate regularization of the migrant population living in our territory in an irregular situation and that the rights of all people working in the food chain are respected, guaranteeing decent working and living conditions, without excuses and without exceptions. As well as the effective fulfilment of the human right to adequate food (DHAA), which cannot depend on the will of the market.
- We demand an immediate end to all forms of patriarchal violence. Gender equality must be a verifiable fact at all times and in all places.
- We demand an end to the mistreatment of the territory and ecosystems. Balance and biodiversity must be actively and effectively cared for, ensuring their sustainability.
- We still have enough dignity and rebellion left to raise our voices in defence of the common good. We must organize our struggle to stop the expansion of agribusiness, because it is urgent, fair and necessary.
Therefore, we invite all organizations and entities that defend the cause of Food Sovereignty to join our network in order to join all possible forces and coordinate our actions in a more effective way.
Agroecology or Barbarism!
Let's globalize the struggle, let's globalize hope!
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