Via Campesina

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     Country with a member organization of Via Campesina

Via Campesina (from Spanish la vía campesina, the campesino way, or the Peasants' Way) describes itself as "an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe". It is a coalition of over 148 organizations, advocating family-farm-based sustainable agriculture and was the group that first coined the term "food sovereignty".[1] Food sovereignty refers to the right to produce food on one's own territory. Via Campesina has carried out several campaigns including a campaign to defend farmer's seeds, a campaign to stop violence against women, a campaign for the recognition of the rights of peasants, a Global Campaign for agrarian reform, and others.[2]


Organized worldwide into nine regions, the group has members throughout the world (in 70 countries). It receives support from various charities, foundations and public institutions around the world. Via Campesina claims to represent an estimated 200 million peasant families globally.[3] As such, it is widely considered to be the world's most important and perhaps largest transnational social movement.[4]


The organization was founded in 1993 by farmers organizations from Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Africa and it had its original headquarters in Belgium. It then moved to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The headquarters office of Via Campesina is now in Jakarta, Indonesia. Henry Saragih of the Indonesian Peasant Union (SPI) is the General Coordinator.

In 2004 the organization was awarded the International Human Rights Award by Global Exchange, in San Francisco.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Global Small-Scale Farmers' Movement Developing New Trade Regimes", Food First News & Views, Volume 28, Number 97 Spring/Summer 2005, p.2.
  2. ^ Borras Jr., Saturnino M. “La Vía Campesina and its Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform..” Journal of Agrarian Change 8, no. 2/3 (April 2008): 258-289.
  3. ^
  4. ^

La Via Campesina: List of Members


Desmarais, Annette Aurélie (2007): La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants, Fernwood Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7453-2704-4

Desmarais, Annette Aurélie (2002): Vía Campesina: Consolidating an International Peasant Movement" Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol. 29, No. 2

Martínez-Torres, María Elena, and Peter M. Rosset, "La Vía Campesina: the birth and evolution of a transnational social movement", Journal of Peasant Studies, 2010

External links[edit]