Towards Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Autonomous Food Systems

Pimbert, Michel | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Books & Profiles

Pimbert, Michel. Towards Food Sovereignty: Reclaiming Autonomous Food Systems. London: IIED, 2009.

Throughout the world, food providers (such as farmers, pastoralists, forest dwellers, and food workers) and new social movements, rather than academia and think tanks, are the prime movers behind a newly emerging food sovereignty policy framework. At its heart, this alternative policy framework for food and agriculture aims to guarantee and protect people’s space, ability, and right to define their own models of production, food distribution, and consumption patterns. Proposals for food sovereignty seek to reverse the socially inequitable and ecologically destructive nature of industrial farming, fisheries, forestry and livestock management, and the wider food systems they are a part of.

The notion of “food sovereignty” is perhaps best understood as a transformative process that seeks to recreate the democratic realm and regenerate a diversity of autonomous food systems based on equity, social justice, and ecological sustainability. Such a transformation with, by, and for people implies radical changes in five closely interrelated domains: ecological, political, social, technological, and economic. This multimedia e-book explores these processes of change and their implications for policy and practice through a combination of text, photos, films, and sound. The text takes a historical, cross-cultural, and trans-disciplinary perspective, and includes some of the most recent references in the scholarly and policy literature on food, agriculture, environment, and livelihoods. The photos and the embedded video clips, animations, and audio recordings show farmers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, fishers, food workers, urban farmers, and consumers all working to promote food sovereignty, highlighting the importance of locally controlled food systems to sustain people and nature in a diversity of rural and urban contexts.

(Text by Michel Pimbert.)


Part 1, chapters 1–3: “Another World is Possible for Food and Agriculture”

Part 2, chapter 4: “Local Organizations at the Heart of Food Sovereignty”

Part 3, chapter 5: “Reclaiming Citizenship, Empowering Civil Society in Policy-making”

Part 3, chapter 7: “Transforming Knowledge and Ways of Knowing”