Food for people not just for profit:
The right to food which is healthy, culturally and regionally appropriate is the basic legal demand underpinning Food Sovereignty. Guaranteeing it requires diversified local food production in every region and respecting the fact that access to healthy food is necessary for our sense of security. Food is not simply another commodity to be traded or speculated on for profit, it is a basic human need and equal access to the means to meet this need is fundamental for a healthy community.
Value food providers:
Many smallholder farmers are marginalised and people are often discouraged from the possibility of land based livelihoods by central government and agribusiness. Agricultural workers can face severe exploitation and blatantly unfair market conditions. Food sovereignty asserts the rights for food providers to live and work in dignity.
Food must be seen primarily as sustenance for the community and only secondarily as something to be traded. Under food sovereignty, local and regional provision takes precedence over supplying distant markets, and export-orientated agriculture is rejected.
Local economic control:
Food sovereignty places control over local resources in the hands of those that use them to be used and shared in socially and environmentally sustainable ways which conserve diversity. Such resources should not be privatised but be models of shared use and ownership to be developed from the ground up. This is the underlying principle of the Black Mountain Food Hub, a resource owned and controlled by the local community.
Build knowledge and skills:
Technologies that undermine the ability of food providers to develop and pass on knowledge and skills needed for localised food systems are rejected. Instead, food sovereignty calls for appropriate technology, education and research systems to support the development of agricultural knowledge and skills.
Work with nature:
Food sovereignty requires production and distribution systems that protect natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, avoiding energy-intensive industrial methods that damage the environment and the health of those that inhabit it.