2005 Annual Report

Food First | 04.01.2006

30 Years of Fighting for the Right of All to Feed Themselves and Their Families

In our 30th anniversary year, Food First deconstructed the systemic and structural causes of hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation and continued identifying, disseminating and creating socially and ecologically viable alternatives. We continued working to reclaim agriculture for our communities and to re-orient our food system to benefit people and restore our environment.

Food First’s work in 2005 began by fundraising for Via Campesina’s grassroots tsunami relief and reconstruction in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and publicizing their calls for aid policies that support local farmers.

Food First participated in the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in January, 2005, and took part in strategy meetings with the global small-scale farmers’ organization Via Campesina, Brazil’s Landless People’s Movement (MST), the Our World is Not for Sale Coalition, Rede Social de Justica e Direitos Humanos, the Food First Information and Action Network, Action Aid, the Food Trade and Nutrition Network, and many other organizations.

At the invitation of the Laotian Department of Agriculture, Food First sent two Cuban agricultural specialists to Laos to develop natural alternatives to pesticide use, and teach sustainable farming techniques to peasant farmers from around the country.

In October Food First brought Mangaliso Kubheka, of South Africa’s Landless People’s Movement, to the U.S. to speak about Food Sovereignty and the link between land access and food security for farmers worldwide. Events in the Southern U.S., the East Coast, and the San Francisco Bay Area involved academics, activists, policymakers and youth, and highlighted the need for farmers and activists worldwide to speak with a unified voice and support grassroots solutions to hunger.

Food First celebrated our 30th anniversary on October 18, with a workshop on sustainable development as the path to ending hunger and poverty in the U.S. and Africa. This was followed by a dinner, where the Institute presented Food First Economic and Social Human Rights Awards to three organizations: Vía Campesina, The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and the Farm Fresh Choice project of the Berkeley Ecology Center.