The Slow Food Slow Travel Summit in Cebu was held last November 26-28, 2019 and was participated on by various individuals from different backgrounds (students, farmers, representatives of farmers groups, and government). The summit was full of activities, which began with a visit to the communities that grow and process a variety of millet known locally as kabog. Other activities include a capacity building workshop, and some exhibits.
One of the highlights of this event is the welcome statement given by CAFE-I co-founder, Teresa Ruelas, where she defined what food sovereignty, the theme for the summit, meant. Quoted below is an excerpt of this speech.
“When I first worked on the anti-GMO campaign to stop the seed trials on golden rice, I finally woke up to the realities that it was not food security we need to concern ourselves with, rather it was FOOD SOVEREIGNTY.
Food security is work to make food accessible especially to those in hunger, and poverty or those suffering from calamities, natural or man-made.
Security was not the main cause of a nation’s hunger. Not when we are one of the most fertile countries in the world. Not when the very essence of our land is agriculture, the ability to grow most of the food varieties in the world.
The problem is we are giving away, selling away or withering away our RIGHTS to good, clean, fair, sustainable food. Our inalienable rights to CHOOSE – for the farmers, how we choose to grow our produce, the seeds we plant. For the consumers the rights to choose where we buy or get our food, who gets to grow it, what to put in it.
And whether we are producers of food or consumers of food, we all share the RIGHT TO KNOW. The right to know what is in the seeds or fertilizers or land we are planting on, the right to know what is in this new grain of rice that looks beautifully golden, or corn that taste beautifully sweet, or chicken that is so juicy and plump and know what chemicals and manipulations with Nature had to be done to get it just the way you like to eat it. The right to know and to choose who will feed us…