Food and Agriculture thematic assembly of the People's Social Forum

Around 30 people gathered for the Food and Agriculture thematic assembly of the People's Social Forum (PSF) on Saturday August the 24, 2014 in Ottawa. 

The dynamic Food and agriculture assembly of the PSF composed of beginning and future organic farmers, seed keepers, gardeners, environmentalists, cooks, professor, students, union members and more, came up with these specific suggestions for the work ahead:

1. Build new linkages : Start a conversation between Indigenous and food movement activists on land, recognizing that Indigenous people have a particular responsibility in relation to land and also that we need to increase the access of young people who are able and willing to work on the land to grow food for our communities.

2. Build on past initiatives : Use existing tools, such as those of the Campus Food System Project, the Student Food Charter, and the People's Food Policy. Those are good frameworks to deepen the analysis, to strategize (to formulate municipal/provincial policy recommendations for instance) and to develop action plans.

3. Convene : Promote in the media and the Food Secure Canada calendar to share all the campaigns and events that our different organizations are planning. In particular, try to get as many people as we can to the FSC Assembly in Halifax in November, to convene there and carry the discussions further.

Other suggestions included:

1. Inspire : Use communication strategies and actions that are attractive and inspiring : food is affecting each of us in our own bodies and emotions. This is how we will succeed in expanding and pollinating our movements.
2. Keep in touch to continue the dialogue, since building strong movements requires time, patience and respect;
3. Start working with First Nations now, women and men, in our communities across Canada, as it is by listening to each other, working and walking together, that we will strenghten our movements and begin to decolonize our imagination and practices, a vision shared by many Indigenous people;
4. Defeat the government in the next federal election, trying to make food one of the top priorities during the electoral campaign, but we agreed that we'll need much more than that to get closer to our collective dreams for justice and healthy communities;
5. Give more visibility to the seed and food movement : since we all eat on a daily basis, food does intersect with all other social movements and peoples. Food and agriculture are very concrete domains to seize the multiple impacts of globalization, colonialism, patriarchy and climate capitalism. The issues and struggles should be more in the media in order to strenghten the linkages between farmers and citizens, rural & urban communities, as well as between researchers and activists, examining local and global issues, including with our allies in the global south and Northern Canada.
6. Continue to do advocacy work, pressuring policy-makers and promoting alternative policies in order to support small scale producers, fisherfolks, peasants and family farmers, as well as to make sure that everyone has access to healthy, culturally appropriate, safe and nutritious food, including farmers, children, and Indigenous peoples. One way to do this is to support a minimum income, or living wage for all.