Food’s Big-Picture Guy

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I wish Olivier de Schutter had the power to match the acuity of his analysis, but it’s great that we’ve had an advocate whose vision is as broad as that of the corporations who have for the last 50 years determined global food policy. Since 2008, the human rights lawyer has had the title of United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food. (His second three-year term ends this week.) This is obviously not a genius marketing title and, even worse, the position carries no real power.

Still, the notion of an impartial observer who can see trends as corporations do — across political borders, and agnostic to them — is a valuable one. It’s easy enough for individual Americans to see how our problems may resemble Canada’s; it’s much more difficult to imagine ourselves struggling the way Indonesians do. That’s what De Schutter has done: shown us that the issues with the food system are as global as trade.

Read the rest of this column here

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One Comment

  1. Lorraine Lewandrowski said...

    For a global farmers’ organization, see the fairly new World Farmers’ Organization at http://www.wfo-oma.com This is a global organization of farmers FOR farmers. The group is relatively new, founded just a few years ago by a few farmers from North Dakota. At this point, some 70 farmer groups from around the world have signed on. Topics they are working on include food security, climate change and the farmers’ position in the value chain.

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