Hungry for Progress? Enacting Food Sovereignty
This research builds upon and utilises an emerging field of food and development theory – food sovereignty – as it discusses possibilities for an alternative food system, where the production, distribution and consumption of food may be guided by principles that foster a holistic, ethical and sustainable approach. The theory of food sovereignty has grown from the writings of La Via Campesina (a global movement of food producers in the Global South) and offers critiques of the current food system, food security and corporate globalisation. As I grapple with the key principles of food sovereignty and explore the ways in which they are visible within Wellington, Aotearoa, I interact with five key organisations and present ways their actions foster a food sovereignty paradigm. By blending the theoretical with the practical, this thesis presents the lived experiences of people working in; Koanga Institute, Biofarm, Commonsense Organics, Workerbe and Kaibosh. Bringing together the perspectives of these five organisations with relevant literature, this thesis first discusses some potential market-based solutions for achieving ethical consumption. It then examines ideas around the move to ‘grow something’ as a tool for resistance, reclaiming spaces and healing; to finally explore the ways in which a more holistic approach to food can nurture spiritual connections in profound and unique ways. Hungry for Progress? Enacting Food Sovereignty is a qualitative research project that embraces notions of positionality and reflexivity and shares my journey of living this research. Through exploring the food sovereignty narratives and worldviews, I seek to promote empowerment among individuals and organisations through constructing knowledge that supports postcolonial, feminist and activist interactions so that good change in the food system (and beyond) may become a reality.