| September 5, 2003:
A one-size-fits all farming formula rarely suits any farm well,
and doesn’t allow farmers to manage their land as stewards.
Global ag trade policy imposed on every farming community works
no better. Balanced policies that consider the vastly different
needs of farmers in food importing and exporting countries are
needed. Use these outcomes to evaluate what gets proposed and
what happens at Cancun – and to consider how current policies
affect your farm right now.
1. Family-scale farms where
the people who own the land do the work and make management
2. Community-building farming
systems that conserve bioregional ecological integrity and
3. The ability of a community
or nation to limit import of products that do not meet health,
safety, genetic, fair trade, specified risk factors or other
measurable qualitative standards.
4. Food sovereignty for
nations, regions and communities to protect valuable forms
of agriculture and maintain a healthful supply of affordable
food for all its people – a right that no outside
body can deny.
5. Traditional agricultural
wisdom and acquired genetic expertise in rural communities.
Outcomes to encourage:
6. Food security and sufficiency
through the most local and most sustainable agricultural
production systems possible.
7. A realistic relationship
between the cost of production and market price of an agricultural
8. Economic incentives for
biodiversity through crop rotations, polyculture development,
heirloom crops and landrace breeds.
Outcomes to resist:
9. Market policies that
favor long-distance transport over local trade.
10. Corporate economic behavior
unhindered by any governmental jurisdiction.
11. Trade policies that
forbid or discourage environmental accountability.
12. Technologies that :
> Develop dependence on non-sustainable resources.
> Undercut natural processes, endanger genetic integrity.
> Hide the negative impacts of non-sustainable agricultural
> Have devastating human or cultural consequences to
13. Intellectual property
rights agreements that unfairly reward genetic theft to
the detriment the populations where biological life forms
are indigenous or traditionally managed.
14. Further subsidies that
reward production of crops that are exported for sale at
below the cost of production in the exporting nation.
15. Suppression of freely
available information on how foods are genetically derived,
grown, handled, processed and technologically manipulated.