The International Commission on the Future of Food and Agriculture was created in 2003 in Tuscany, Italy, as a result of an international meeting of leaders in the food and agriculture movement brought together by Claudio Martini, President of the Regional Government of Tuscany and Dr. Vandana Shiva, noted activist and Executive Director of Navdanya/Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Environment and President of Navdanya International.
The Commission brings together leading activists, academics, scientists, politicians and farmers from North and South, committed to building more socially and ecologically sustainable food and agriculture systems and active in creative movements for the protection of biodiversity, local food production and consumption, food security and food safety, and the rights of small farmers.
It seeks to strengthen the global seed and food movement towards a more equitable and caring world by making more visible viable alternatives to the present corporate controlled, technology-based, monocultural and export-oriented systems of food and agriculture.
It seeks to strengthen forces for global democracy through helping construct a network of regional and local governments and movements working on sustainable food security systems.
It has published four far-reaching Manifestos on issues of critical importance to the future of the planet: the future of food, the future of the seed, climate change and the future of food security, and the need for new knowledge systems. The Manifestos, each translated into four languages, English, Italian, French and German, have been widely distributed at major international United Nations and Civil Society Conferences and Summits on food security, agriculture, and climate change.
The Manifesto on the Future of Food develops in detail principles on which to base the transition to a sustainable food and agricultural system as outlined in the Florence Declaration on the Global Rights to Food. Most importantly it sets out practical vision, ideas and programs toward ensuring that food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable, more accessible, and toward putting food quality, food safety and public health above corporate profits.
The Manifesto on the Future of Seeds outlines ways and means to strengthen and accelerate the movement toward sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, biodiversity and agricultural diversity and help defend the rights of farmers to save, share, use and improve seeds, as well as to enhance our collective capacity to adapt to the hazards and uncertainties of environmental and economic change.
The Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security highlights the need to change to a productive model that minimizes the system’s vulnerability to external shocks and hazards and that contributes sustainably to mitigating the effects of climate change, based on a strong multifunctionality able to maximize the role of agriculture as a service of the ecosystem and as a tool to strengthen such system, and that guarantees family farming a pivotal role in a new system of production.
The Manifesto on the Future of Knowledge Systems : knowledge sovereignty for a healthy planet makes evident that the multiple crises that face humanity today – the financial implosion and economic collapse, climate chaos and the energy and food crises – are rooted in a reductionist, fragmented and mechanical way of thinking, with the world being equated to a huge machine, free to be manipulated and improved at will. A new way of thinking is vital for the return to a balanced and healthy planet, one based on sustainability, resilience and equity. Some of the themes addressed include: corporate control of science and the merging of knowledge and power; the commercialization of knowledge and biopiracy; the need to integrate traditional and indigenous cultural knowledge with independent science.