Official Announcement of UAWC in the 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize Winners in Des Moines
The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) was awarded The 2014 Food Sovereignty Prize on the evening of October 15th in Des Moines, IA, United States, along with the Community to Community Development of Bellingham, Washington, as co-recipients. The prize is awarded by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA). The Chairperson of UAWC’s Board of Directors Ali Abd ElRahman has participated in the awarding ceremony.
The Food Sovereignty Prize is awarded by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, a network of anti-hunger advocacy organizations, and seeks to laud those who work towards combating the injustices created by the global food system. “In honoring those who are taking back their food systems, the Food Sovereignty Prize affirms that nothing short of the true democratization of our food system will enable us to end hunger once and for all,” a statement from the Prize’s website reads.
UAWC won the prize after being nominated by Grassroots International which is a strategic partner organization that supports farmers’ rights and women empowerment programs. Past winners of the Food Sovereignty Prize include La Via Campesina, MST (Brazil), Family Farm Defenders (US), Korean Women’s Peasant Association, and the Group of 4 Peasant Organizations (Haiti).
UAWC’s struggle for food sovereignty is clear through its developmental approach to support small scale farmers and fishermen, its advocacy programs to defend the rights of the Palestinian farmers and fishermen against the brutal Israeli violations, its role in protecting the Palestinian local seeds, its role in empowering women farmers, in addition to its response campaigns to emergency situations have all qualified it to win this prize.
This important prize inspires UAWC to carry on its work in defending Palestinian farmers’ rights through supporting small-scale farmers and fishermen toward their food sovereignty and rights to land and water, and its coordination with local and international movements for social justice and human rights.
During his stay in the US, Abd ElRahman has participated in several field visits and demonstrations against GMO seeds. Abd ElRahman also had the opportunity to meet several agricultural organizations in coordination with Grassroots International, and had a lecture in the University of Chicago.
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) represents a network of food producers and labor, environmental, faith-based, social justice and anti-hunger advocacy organizations. The Prize was first awarded in 2009 as an alternative to the World Food Prize founded by “the father of the Green Revolution,” the late Norman Borlaug. While the World Food Prize emphasizes the increased production through technology, the Food Sovereignty Prize champions solutions coming from those most impacted by the injustices of the global food system.