The World Economic Forum and Gates Foundation are convening a food summit through the United Nations on September 23. Global farmer, peasant and fishing coalitions have called a boycott of the summit for its pro-corporate agenda, refusal to include the human right to food and exclusion of the intergovernmental body, the Committee on World Food Security, that has created an inclusive and democratized international structure. Clearing the FOG speaks with Patti Naylor, a family farmer in Iowa who works on agroecology and food sovereignty. She is on the board of Family Farm Defenders and a member of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. Naylor describes the failures of the current global food system, how it is unprepared for the crises we are experiencing and that will occur and why it is headed in a dangerous direction. She talks about the global fight to change the food system to one that is flexible enough to respond to crises and that protects and restores the environment.
Patti Naylor farms with her husband George in west-central Iowa, growing organic corn, soybeans, oats, hay, cider apples, and chickens. Patti speaks and writes about agriculture, farm justice, and the principles of food sovereignty. Her focus is on organic production and agroecological principles in addressing the multiple environmental and social crises we face. She has participated in events with Food First on capitalism in the food system; at the UN CWS62 in NYC with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) on industrial agriculture’s negative impact on rural women; in Washington, DC, with ActionAid on biofuels; and at the NESAWG 2019 conference. Patti has visited La Via Campesina farmer organizations in Cuba and Nicaragua to further her understanding of food sovereignty and agroecology. Her essay, “A Cautionary Yet Hopeful View of Iowa’s Agricultural Future,” was published by University Museums at Iowa State University for the 2021 exhibit Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa. She is a board member of Wisconsin-based Family Farm Defenders, a member organization of National Family Farm Coalition and US Food Sovereignty Alliance. She also serves on the boards of Iowa Organic Association, and Pesticide Action Network North America. Patti is currently the focal point for the North American region of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism for relations with the UN Committee on World Food Security. Patti and George write on their blog, clarityonparity.com.