People's Struggles

"The world is facing a huge agrarian problem, which is leading to dire environmental destruction and rising rates of hunger and malnutrition. We have no choice but to change the system.”

Large conventional supermarkets are the go-to option for the average inhabitant of modern cities. With more than 50% of the global population living in urban areas, it is not strange to associate supermarkets with the power of a  handful of transnational corporations who exploit the global food system with little regard of any other actor in the chain.

Supermarkets, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. The real power of these transnational corporations lies on an agribusiness model based on monocultures and GMOs; unfair trade agreements that benefit one side only and corporate grabbing of land, oceans, lakes and so forth.

These systems are ultimately responsible for the bad shape of people's and the planet's health, not to mention the steady destruction and impoverishment of small-scale food producers all over the world.

As an alternative to these industrial food systems, citizens of many countries are creating food policy councils as a way to democratize and transform food systems from the local level up.

The struggle has already started. The Vienna Nutrition Council founded in November 2018 was an initiative of around 15 people from the fields of research and gastronomy, the food industry, and civil society organizations, all with a common goal. "By establishing the Nutrition Council, we want to contribute to an ecologically sustainable and socially just nutrition system for Vienna and the surrounding area," says Charlotte Kottusch of the Nutrition Council Vienna.

Despite still having a long way to go, the struggle to transform the established food systems  is the struggle to guarantee the needs of the urban population while maintaining fair working conditions and good prospects for people working in agriculture. This is the only way to make nutritious and ecologically sustainable food accessible unconditionally to everyone, not just to a few people.