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Community / Land projects / Right to Food

Right to Food


01/16 - 12/20


This project is part of


Ultimately SOMO’s Food and Land program strives for a global food system in which small farmers and workers are justly treated and fairly compensated, biodiversity and ecosystems are protected, rights of communities to natural resources are secured, and hunger is a thing of the past. To contribute to progress towards this ideal the program pushes for improvements in public and private policies intervening both at the beginning (farm workers, small holders and communities) and at the end (food companies and supermarkets) of the food chain. The program interventions can build on decades of experience with research and advocacy on corporate food sector issues and broad networks of partners in the global north and south. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the global food and land complex as it is essential for nutrition, employment, culture, environment, conservation, peace and stability. To illustrate, 31 per cent of the working population worldwide is involved in agriculture, which is often the most important sector in developing countries. Even in many developed countries food processing is a leading industry in terms of value added and jobs generated. On the other hand, working conditions in agriculture are often harsh, dangerous, under paid and jobs are precarious. Through large-scale land acquisitions community rights to land are often violated. Of the 795 million people worldwide who are undernourished 80 percent are involved in agriculture. Indeed over the last decade food riots, land grab, obesity epidemic, food speculation, reports of deplorable working conditions, climate change and farmer protests have made it clearer than ever that for the food and land complex to provide its essential services equitably and sustainably many critical issues need to be addressed. Within the theme Right to food, SOMO will focus its work on capacity building of civil society in research and advocacy, specifically in relation to food prices and improving conditions for agricultural workers and small-scale food producers. SOMO will conduct research to support national and global influencing. Its primary thematic focus areas include food prices, the impact of trading policies, the needs and problems of agricultural workers and the role of certification schemes. The long-term outcome of SOMO’s work in the strategic partnership with Oxfam Novib is to contribute to securing the right to food, improved labor conditions and respect of human rights. To contribute to this long-term outcome the program pursues a number of strategies, i.e. research, capacity building, supporting and building networks and advocacy. All strategies target the improvement of public and private policies that govern and/or affect the food and agricultural sector in developing countries.

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