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Biased perspective at international conference on food security

Alternative conference being prepared

From September the 29th until October the 2nd the First International Conference on Global Food Security will take place in Noordwijkerhout, organized by Elsevier. Behind this prestigious title are the sponsors Monsanto and Unilever. The conference promises ‘the newest analyses, inspiring perspectives and innovative research methods’ for food security. We doubt they will live up to these promises, considering the program, speakers and entrance fee of no less than 800 euro.[:]

The debate about the future of our food security should be democratic in process; a discussion between scientists, producers and citizens. United in the Voedsel Anders Network, we have started this democratic process.

Its culmination will be a 2-day congress in spring 2014, the year that the UN pronounced as the International Year of Family Farming.

We are looking forward to a fruitful exchange regarding ecological and just solutions for the problems in the current  food- and agricultural system. These approaches are being applied and developed by millions of small-scale farmers and consumers throughout the world, with increasing success and recognition. Amongst then are, for example, agro-ecological production methods and direct trade-agreements between farmers and consumers. These are sustainable solutions that protect soil fertility, are climate neutral and produce plenty of healthy food for all, including a fair price for the farmers. Agriculture which will also be beneficial for future generations.

At the conference in Noordwijkerhout no attention is paid to the above mentioned strategies. There, highly technological and industrial approaches will be promoted in light of the food crisis. Not a single farmer is invited to the conference. And this while there are so many successes achieved in co-creating knowledge about food and agriculture, a method by which farmers and scientists work together. The role of farmers in creating food seems to be forgotten entirely, in spite of that 70% of our food is created by small-scale farmers. In addition there is not enough attention paid to the underlying trade policies which force farmers to sell their produce below cost price, or chase farmers from their land, for example by producers of biofuels.

The necessity for a transition in the dominating agricultural system is enormous. Many of the current climate- environmental-, health- and poverty crises are to a large extent caused by the promotion of pesticides, gentech, export-orientated production and monocultures. They deplete and degrade the soil, cause huge CO2-emissions and push farming families into debt.

However, farmers and consumers have developed many alternative practices that deserve attention, recognition and support. You are warmly welcome to join the discussion about them in the beginning of 2014.

September 27th 2013

Signed by:


Boerderij Buitenverwachting



Burgers voor gentechvrij voedsel

Corporate Europe Observatory

De Waard Eetbaar Landschap


ETC Foundation

FIAN Nederland

Gevoel voor Humus

Gezonde Moestuin Advies


ILEIA Kenniscentrum voor duurzame landbouw


Netwerk Vitale Landbouw en Voeding


Platform Aarde, Boer, Consument

Stichting Gezonde Gronden

Stichting RUAF

TEAM Ecosys

Transnational Institute

Werkgroep Voedselrechtvaardigheid

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

XminY Solidariteitsfonds

(all part of the Voedsel Anders network)