Food Chains: Workers & Farmers vs. Free Trade & Agribusiness
June 14, New York City
Cornell ILR Conference Center
16 East 34th Street, 6th Floor New York City
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
A public forum bringing together farmer leaders from several countries to meet with union leaders in food retailing, manufacturing, and agriculture that are all part of the increasingly globalized food industry.
Featuring campesino farmer leaders from:
- India (Prawala Anand Tatte, Shetkari Sanghatana)
- Brazil (Martina Unterberger, MST/Landless Workers Movement)
- Colombia (Tomas Herrera, ANUC_UR)
- Bangladesh (Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation)
- Mexico (Alberto Gomez Flores, UNORCA)
- U.S. (George Naylor, Iowa corn farmer and president of National Family Farm Coalition)
Campesino farmers are leading the fight against free trade and corporate globalization. Protests in Cancun, Mexico in 2003 led by campesino farmers from Mexico and around the world led to the collapse of WTO talks, and similar protests by Korean farmers and their allies in Hong Kong last December led to the near collapse of talks again.
Campesino farmers are also campaigning against agri-businesses who are not only a main force behind free trade but who also increasingly have near monopoly power in markets for corn and other grains (Cargill), seeds (Monsanto), meat (Smithfield), and supermarkets (Wal-Mart).
Come hear farmer leaders talk about global and national issues, specifically:
In India: Desperate conditions for farmers have led to tens of thousands of suicides in farming communities. Farmers also waged demonstrations of over 50,000 people last year against the WTO, and are fighting against corporations like Coca-Cola that deplete local water resources.
In Brazil: The MST (Landless Workers Movement) has helped over 350,000 families occupy and farm on the land, and where farmers have waged fights against companies like Monsanto and Syngenta involved in genetically modified food.
In Mexico: Campesinos led the fight against the WTO in 2003 and continue to fight government policies which force farmers off the land and contribute greatly to high immigration to the US.
In Colombia: Farmers are fighting to maintain their land in the face of terror tactics by paramilitary groups.
In Bangladesh: Landless farmers have occupied unused land to produce for survival.
In the U.S.: Family farmers and farmworkers are working for fair prices for their commodities and fair wages. They are promoting changes to U.S. farm and food policy while forging regional and international campaigns to promote food sovereignty.
This event is being cosponsored by United Food and Commercial Workers, United Farm Workers, Farm Laborers Organizing Committee, and National Family Farm Coalition.