Manifesto of Agroecology or Barbarism on how agribusiness is mistreating us

Those of us who have drawn up this Agroecology or Barbary manifesto consider it necessary to affirm, once again, our determined commitment to achieving a fairer and more united society. In the current context of climate change and the global food crisis, it is essential to guarantee the rights of peasants and the Food Sovereignty of peoples.

During conferencesAgroecology or barbarism: how agribusiness mistreats us», convened in June by the Working Group on Migration and Rural Work of the European Coordination of La Vía Campesina (CEVC), we were able to analyze the terrible consequences of the agro-industrial model of food production, a business that continues to to develop its power in an uncontrollable way, 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 majority ignorance of society. Moreover, it 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 can be disposed of at will to continue to fatten your profits in an unlimited way.

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For all these reasons, we are developing the following Agroecology or Barbary Manifesto

We denounce that:

  • Agribusiness is the product of decades of neoliberal policies promoted by the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO). The development of the capitalist economy has generated a form of neo-feudalism and accumulation of power, whose expansion strategy consists of grabbing land, which is no longer at the service of the common good, to favor the economic interests of a number very limited number of transnational corporations. (such as Surexport, Driscoll, etc.).
  • Agribusiness reproduces the roles of patriarchy, exercising direct violence on women, especially those in situations of maximum vulnerability.
  • Agribusiness is a colonialist and racist model, which takes advantage of migrants and all those who are defenseless due to any type of circumstance with complete impunity. Its benefits are the result of the slave-like exploitation of labor in inhumane working conditions, the unscrupulous abuse of workers and the systematic violation of the most basic human rights.
  • Agro-industry is an industrial activity managed by an oligopoly of transnationals which considerably increases the inequalities between the countries of the North and the South, generating conflicts and violence and condemning the vast majority of the world’s population to live in situations of poverty, hunger and enormous suffering.
  • Agribusiness consumes too much water and depletes the water tables on which all living things depend, destroying the balance and biodiversity of ecosystems and severely increasing the proportion of the population whose access to such an essential good is restricted .
  • Agribusiness uses tons of chemical and agrotoxic fertilizers, poisoning the land we inhabit, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
  • Agro-industry is the major cause of deforestation on the planet and generates the conditions necessary for the development of zoonoses, the mass extinction of pollinating insects or the fires that ravage our rural environment, among others.
  • Agribusiness consumes energy intensively 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, slurries, antibiotics, etc., which are discarded without control and invade many habitats of incalculable value, collapsing them and turning them into irrecoverable sacrifice zones. .
  • Agro-industry exerts overexploitation of the soil, which is its greatest cause of degradation in the world, eroding its fertility and making it more vulnerable to desertification.
  • Agribusiness evicts peasants from their homes and territories, destroying rural and agrarian communities, their culture, their knowledge and their ability to produce nutritious and healthy food while taking care of the habitat with good management agroecosystems.
  • Agro-industry promotes the export of food over long distances, destroying short circuits of local production and consumption and increasing international flows of transport of goods which increase the ecological footprint of the food system.
  • Agribusiness captures most of the profits generated in the value chain, dominates and controls markets for food distribution and production of inputs and machinery, imposing abusive prices and conditions that affect viability of a more sustainable agricultural activity, generating dependence on its technologies and dangerously reducing the genetic variability of the plant and animal species on which we feed.
  • Agribusiness promotes improper diets and eating habits, flooding the world with huge quantities of ultra-processed products containing high levels of fat, sugar and animal protein, being the main cause of the increase in food consumption. obesity, cancer and many other types of serious diseases. health conditions more prevalent among the population every day.
  • Agribusiness wields a powerful influence over the bodies and institutions that decide agrifood policies, violating the sovereignty of peoples and shamefully degrading the democratic quality of our governance systems.
  • Agribusiness imposes a global diet conditioned by the logic of the market to extract economic benefits and by its absolute dependence on fossil fuels, condemning us to permanent food insecurity that constantly endangers the reproduction of life itself. .
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And we declare that:

  • 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 poses a dangerous threat to the possibility of achieving these goals. They are two definitively incompatible models, which cannot coexist.
  • We demand a radical transformation of the agri-food system through public policies that stop being at the service of capital and act in favor of life, democracy and socio-environmental justice.
  • We demand the support of public policies for the development of agroecology and other alternatives to reduce the consumption of energy and materials in production processes, also promoting the increase of local food production and distribution .
  • We demand the effective respect 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 those working in the food chain be respected, guaranteeing decent working and living conditions, without excuses and without exceptions. As well as the effective realization 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 that an end be put to the mistreatment of the territory and ecosystems. The balance and biodiversity must be actively and effectively preserved, guaranteeing their sustainability.
  • We still have enough dignity and rebellion to raise our voice in defense of the common good. We must organize our fight to stop the expansion of agribusiness, because it is urgent, just and necessary.

For all these reasons, we invite all organizations and entities that defend the cause of food sovereignty to join our network, to join all possible forces and to coordinate our actions more effectively.

Agroecology or Barbary!
Let’s globalize the fight, let’s globalize the hope!

If you want to get in touch, you can contact our network at the following address: [email protected]

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