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October 13, 2015

Black activists here in the U.S. are showing that “Black Lives Matter”, forcing the glaring racial and social justice inequality in our societies into the global spotlight.

This year’s Food Sovereignty Prize – which is awarded annually to one U.S. based and one international organization working on food rights issues – is showing that Black farmers’ lives and livelihoods matter by recognizing the Federation of Southern Cooperatives in the United States and the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras.

Rural communities in the U.S. have been suffering economically from the elimination of farm livelihoods and the growing power of large agribusinesses. However, rural Black communities have been hardest hit, with the number of Black farmers shrinking from 14% of all farmers to only 1% today.

The seeds of recovery and justice are being cultivated by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives which continues to fight for U.S. Black farmers. This great organization is showing that Black farmers’ skills and way of life continue to matter in a world that demands strengthened food security.

Food sovereignty means greater diversity in the food that is grown and in the people who are in control of growing it. It means more local food with closer connections between people growing food and eating it. The movement stands for more opportunities to produce food for localities and regions and for having a say in the quality of the food you eat and the way it is produced.

If you are interested in learning more, read recent interviews with Ben Burkett of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and Miriam Miranda, who lead the struggle for land and dignity of black and indigenous farmers and fishers in Honduras.

ActionAid is partnering with the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and other organizations to celebrate the winners in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 14 and in Washington, DC, on World Food Day, October 16. Get in touch with me for more info.