Viewpoint: Big Ag is ‘cherry-picking sustainable practices’ and co-opting the language of agroecology

Credit: Plan A
Credit: Plan A
[A] coalition of academics who are members of the Agroecology Research-Action Collective announced a boycott of the [UN’s 2021 Food Systems] summit with a petition calling on their peers around the globe to do the same.

They say non-government organization (NGOs), global governments, and corporations are cherry picking agroecological principles to make small changes to inherently destructive systems while perpetuating the power imbalances the paradigm seeks to disrupt.

[Katie Sandwell, a senior project officer at the Transnational Institute] and her colleagues, along with partners at Friends of the Earth International and Crocevia, recently published a report called “Junk Agroecology.” The report details three international initiatives to advance sustainability in agriculture: the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, New Vision for Agriculture, and the Food and Land Use Coalition.

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All three groups create partnerships between the world’s biggest agricultural companies, nonprofits, and government agencies, and there is considerable overlap in membership.

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“The end goal of these reforms is to ensure that big business can continue profiting, without fundamentally transforming either the unjust socio-economic, political, and ecological relations on which the agrifood system is based, or the exclusionary and short-sighted ideology that legitimizes it,” the report’s authors wrote.

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