Knowledge for better food systems

Food as a Commodity, Human Right or Common Good? Implications for Hunger Eradication

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has released a podcast and power point presentation following a seminar held last week on the theme of "Food as a Commodity, Human Right or Common Good? Implications for Hunger Eradication".

The speaker at the seminar José Luis Vivero Pol is an anti-hunger and social rights activist as well as a PhD candidate in Food Governance (Université Catholique de Louvain) and together with discussant Tom Lavers, a visiting research fellow at UNRISD, he discussed the three competing paradigms currently influencing the global food system:

  • food and nutrition security, which considers hunger a human need that must be satisfied;
  • the right to food, a fully-fledged human right that states have the obligation to protect, respect and fulfill;
  • food sovereignty which sees food as a commons, not as a mere commodity, and goes well beyond human needs or human rights, incorporating the cultural dimension too.

José Luis Vivero focused his talk on why the current market-driven production and allocation of food cannot guarantee food justice. He suggests that food be considered a commons under tri-centric governance of markets, governments and collective action to pave the way for a fairer and more sustainable food system.

To hear the podcast and to read the Powerpoint, go to this page.

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