WORC Wins 2022 Food Sovereignty Prize

WORC is honored to be recognized by the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance for our work on a just food system that supports people’s rights to define their own production systems.

Above, Dakota Resource Council member Jenna Vanhorne pours milk at her North Dakota dairy.

On October 13th, 2022, WORC accepted the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance’s 2022 Food Sovereignty Prize. The prize honors one domestic and one International organization working for the “right of all peoples to access healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their food, fishery, and farming systems.”

“We are honored to receive the 2022 Food Sovereignty Prize, and to work alongside USFSA members for a food system that is just,” said Western Colorado Alliance member Kathryn Bedell, Chair of WORC’s Agriculture and Food Campaign team. “We need organizations like WORC to bring independent ranchers like myself together with a broader movement to fight for the policies we need for economic and environmental sustainability.”

Today, a small handful of international corporations dominates the food supply, controls our markets and has undue influence on food policy.

Kathryn Bedell, Colorado Rancher

Now in its 14th year, the Food Sovereignty Prize is given out around World Food Day (October 16th, 2022). The prize is intended as a contrast with the corporate-funded World Food Prize which perpetuates Big Ag’s narrative that industrial-scale production or biotech can alleviate the hunger crises around the world and that industrial solutions, like factory-farm gas and pollution trading schemes, can solve the climate crisis.


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“Consumers don’t realize how vulnerable to climate change our food production system has become,” said Gilles Stockton, Montana rancher and long-time Northern Plains leader from Grass Range. “A handful of global corporations control critical farm inputs such as machinery, fertilizer, and seeds. Another handful of corporations controls the markets for grains, and livestock, also on a global scale. The processing and retailing of those foods are controlled by another handful of global corporations. This system does not have the flexibility needed to raise and deliver food under adverse weather and political conditions.”

“Consumers don’t realize how vulnerable to climate change our food production system has become. This system does not have the flexibility needed to raise and deliver food under adverse weather and political conditions.”

Gilles Stockton, Montana rancher

We’re hoping that this prize will help draw attention to the importance of taking back control of our food systems for both eaters and the farmers and ranchers who feed them. “Today, a small handful of international corporations dominates the food supply, controls our markets, and has undue influence on food policy,” said Bedell. “Ranchers like myself cannot exist without healthy soil, clean water, natural grasslands, and fair markets.”

WORC shared this year’s awards with Food Sovereignty Ghana, another grassroots organization working to address genetically modified food technology, human and animal health, sustainable development, biodiversity, and the integrity of Ghanaian food and water resources. They also work on Ghanaian democracy. 

According to the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, “The 2022 honorees have fought for years against corporate control of the food system, defending sustainable farming and pasturing, healthy soils, and clean water, building community power, and advocating clean, renewable energy sources.”

Based in the United States, the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance is a network that includes food justice, anti-hunger, labor, environmental, faith-based, and food producer groups. They believe all people have the right to healthy, culturally appropriate food, produced in an ecologically sound manner. The alliance works to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system as well as “connect our local and national struggles to the international movement for food sovereignty.”

The award was presented at a virtual ceremony emceed by Malik Yakini of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and included representatives from both Food Sovereignty Ghana and WORC speaking about their successes and challenges in promoting Food Sovereignty.

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