Nora McKeon, an expert on food systems, recently wrote a report on the current state of global food governance. The report, “Global Governance for World Food Security: A Scorecard Four Years After the Eruption of the ‘Food Crisis,’” was released by the political non-profit organization Heinrich Böll Stiftung and highlights some of the global problems and potential in the aftermath of recent food price volatility.
According to the report, “the eruption of the food crisis in late 2007-2008 unveiled a vacuum in global governance,” which has been dominated by international corporations and free-trade focused countries. One response to the crisis was a restructuring of the FAO Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in an attempt to shape it into a potent international forum for food security. In October, 2010, the CFS sided with civil society organizations and governments of developing countries, agreeing to investigate food price volatility, financial speculation, and “land grabbing” by foreign corporations. The CFS seems to have loosened the control that free-trade advocates, the World Bank, and multinational corporations have long enjoyed over these issues.
The CFS may be “at the centre of a better global governance system,” says the report, based on the principles surrounding food sovereignty and the right to food. The task of overcoming the immense power of agri-business and developed nations is a daunting one, and in order to shift the focus of food issues from trade to human rights, the report calls for “civil society participation [to] be sustained and strengthened.”
The issue of global food system governance is incredibly complicated. What are some ways that you see everyday people in “civil society” getting involved? Let us know in the comments!
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