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La Via Campesina

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The global food system illuminates one dimension of the massive socioeconomic inequality that characterizes the world today. In a global population of over seven billion people, roughly 795 million people remain undernourished as of 2014–2016, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) estimates (FAO 2015: 8). Despite progress made over the last 20–30 years, inequalities in the global food and agricultural system have generated heated debate about policy solutions as well as galvanized diverse sectors of society – whether national governments, nongovernmental organizations, multilateral institutions, and grass-roots social justice movements, among many more – to challenge the current state of the system.

It is in this context that La Vía Campesina, one of the world’s most powerful social justice movements dedicated to food and agricultural justice, emerged in 1993. Translated as the “peasants way” or “peasants road” (Desmarais 2007: 8), the organization is:


  • World Trade Organization
  • Trade Liberalization
  • Member Organization
  • North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Food Sovereignty

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Correspondence to William Schanbacher .

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© 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Schanbacher, W. (2016). La Via Campesina. In: Thompson, P., Kaplan, D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-007-6167-4

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