Food Sovereignty

The video in this post, is of resident UKC professor Anna Waldstein, giving a talk on ‘Sovereignty & Psychedelics’ at Breaking Convention Conference 2013. I first watched Anna deliver this lecture in 2012 in London. The concept of ‘sovereignty’, when applied to consumption practices, struck a cord in me when theorising on the ability for food production to shape relations of power and politics.

The term ‘sovereignty’ in popular culture, is usually related to royalty and parliament. However, ‘sovereignty’ means something quite different when we consider its definition in the light of personal ‘liberty’ .

Dictionary Definition of sovereignty ( Via –
Pronunciation: /ˈsɒvrɪnti
1. Supreme power or authority:
1.1 The authority of a state to govern itself or another state
1.2 A self-governing state.

‘Sovereignty’, in relation to food production and consumption, is expressed perfectly by ‘The Nyeleni Village’ in Mali, who made an official declaration for their right to control the foods they ate and produced (Via –

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations. It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation. It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers and users. Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal – fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability. Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just incomes to all peoples as well as the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition. It ensures that the rights to use and manage lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food. Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social and economic classes and generations.”

You can find out more information here about the Food Sovereignty movement –

Gaining food ‘sovereignty’ is a philosophical concept, that in the production of this film, I have intended to explore by investigating the context of local food production in my area.


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