2011 Annual Report

Food First | 04.01.2012

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Did you feel it? A seismic tremor shook our food system last year. Though low on the “Richter Scale” of social change, it opened deep cracks in the corporate food regime. People-driven projects for food justice, food democracy and food sovereignty flooded in, spreading hope and a vision of a world without hunger.

There was no one epicenter. Political protests from Tahrir Square to Wall Street, land occupations in Brazil, the steady spread of lush, urban gardens from Oakland to Havana, rising movements for farmer-led agroecology in Latin America, Asia and Africa and many other efforts worldwide—even in the face of the lingering global recession—all convince me we are entering times of great change.

A seismic tremor shook our food system last year. It opened deep cracks in the corporate food regime. People-driven projects for food justice, food democracy and food sovereignty flooded in, spreading a vision of a world without hunger.

Food First brought you the voices of this unstoppable global trend in our path-breaking new book, Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food Systems. The 19 authors of this remarkable publication come from organizations and social movements actively transforming our food system worldwide. Slow Food Italy immediately translated the book into Italian (to be released this Spring). Leonor Hurtado and her team translated the Spanish version to be released by Icaria Press (Barcelona) this fall. A Brazilian- Portuguese team is now finishing the Portuguese translation.

We produced four Backgrounders on cutting edge food issues in 2011. Food Security, Food Justice or Food Sovereignty? asked how to turn food system reforms into lasting, food system transformation; Grabbing the Food Deserts: Large-scale land acquisitions and the expansion of retail monopolies described land grabs in U.S. low-income communities by big retail chains; Agroecology: A Path to Realizing the Right to Food, by UN Special Rapporteur Olivier de Schutter, emphasized the importance of agroecology in ending hunger; and Occupy the Food System! Building a vision of transformation, described the social and political convergence of “practitioners” and “advocates” in food movements around the world.

We also published academic pieces in journals and books; Food crises, food regimes and food movements: rumblings of reform or tides of transformation? by Eric Holt Giménez and Annie Shattuck in the Journal of Peasant Studies; Reform or Transformation? The pivotal role of race, class and food justice in the U.S. food movement, by Eric Holt-Giménez and Yi Wang in the Journal of Race/Ethnicity and From Food Crisis to Food Sovereignty: The Challenge of Social Movements by Eric Holt-Giménez in Agriculture and Food in Crisis: Conflict, Resistance, and Renewal, Edited by Fred Magdoff and Brian Tokar; and Food Security, Food Justice and Food Sovereignty: Crises, Food Movements or Regime Change, by Eric Holt-Giménez in Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability, Edited by Alison Hope Alkon and Julian Agyeman. We also wrote a 20-page report on Green Agriculture for the FAO that will be used at the upcoming Rio+20 Conference.

NV34_124 Spring 2012-graph