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(en) Canada, Collectif Emma Goldman - When our food production turns on the exploitation without limit (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 15 May 2020 08:48:42 +0300


The Covid-19 pandemic is shaking up several economic sectors and, as always, it is the most vulnerable people who are bearing the brunt of these changes. While politicians, actors and other personalities of the showbizask us to do "our share" by staying at home in our small apartments while they are confined in their luxurious homes of well-stocked bourgeois, the most exploited people must put themselves in danger and work to continue to turn the essential sectors of the economy. This is, among other things, the case for foreign workers who have come to work in agricultural fields for the summer. This year, approximately 4,000 people from Mexico and Guatemala arrived in Quebec, down from 17,000 last year. Faced with the lack of labor, agricultural producers are increasing the abuses. According to Michel Pilon of the Network for assistance to migrant agricultural workers in Quebec (RATTMAQ), which is linked to foreign workers: "We make them work 16, 17, even 18 hours a day. They are tired. They are told that they do not have to, but they are afraid. " Indeed, thebosses put a lot of pressure on workers since there is always work to be done.

Abuses by employers have no limits. They "fear" that the Covid-19 will "enter" on their farm, so they prevent workers from leaving the agricultural facilities. Still according to Mr. Pilon: "There was one who had decided to buy food during his day off. He kept the required distance, but he still had disciplinary action because he left the farm. Producers say they are afraid COVID will enter their farms, so they control movement. It does not work. " Recall that the workers had to make a quarantine of 14 days when they arrived on Quebec territory, so there is absolutely nothing that justifies such a violation of fundamental human rights.

In one of its newsletters, the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) declares: "After quarantine, workers are subject to the same traffic rules as all of us. They can therefore leave the farm if they wish and the employer has a duty to make them aware of traffic rules, social distancing measures and the risks of contamination, she wrote. Even during a pandemic, after quarantine, it is out of the question to ban outings, which would be contrary to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. " Some workers are even suspended by the employer and they can no longer work for a time X. And on the other hand, it is clear that the bosses do not impose the same restrictions on non-movement. On top of all that, as of May 1, no workers have been diagnosed with Covid-19 infection. There is only one foreign worker who has been tested for symptoms related to Covid-19 and is awaiting the results[1].

A double operation

While these South American workers are exploited in Quebec, in the countries of Latin America, the same capitalist exploitation system is in place. Through the long centuries of colonialism, the peoples of the South were robbed of their agricultural land by Western multinationals for the production of food for the North. From production in the fields to delivery to the West, the entire chain belongs to Western companies[2]. In addition, we must add to this the destruction of ecosystems to increase mass production and animal husbandry as well as the difficulty of eating well for local populations since almost all of the production is sent abroad. Three very striking contemporary examples are the production of quinoa in the Andean countries (Peru,

Photo credit: Carl de Souza Agence France-Presse. Deforestation of the Amazon in Brazil
This international division of labor, where countries "specialize" in certain production sectors, generates inequalities and exploitation. It is due to the capitalist production system which creates competition between the various countries. Thus, each must find his specialty and exchange with the other "Nations". Obviously, this is not done on an egalitarian basis and those who have the means of production and distribution are not the local populations, especially in the countries of the South. This international division of labor fuels unnecessary consumption. Now we can eat year-round oranges in Canada, pineapples, avocados and lots of other fruits and vegetables that grow tens of thousands of kilometers from where we buy them... And at what environmental price? Our territories allow us to produce and find what we need to support ourselves. But for that, it is necessary to reclaim knowledge and techniques. This vision of peasant agriculture opposed to capitalist mass production is already implemented by several organizations which advocate and campaign for food sovereignty. For This vision of peasant agriculture opposed to capitalist mass production is already implemented by several organizations which advocate and campaign for food sovereignty. For This vision of peasant agriculture opposed to capitalist mass production is already implemented by several organizations which advocate and campaign for food sovereignty. ForLa Via Campesina , an international peasant movement with more than 180 member organizations in 81 countries, food sovereignty is defined as follows:

"A concept developed by the people most threatened by the processes of consolidating power in the food and agricultural systems: the peasants. Rather than accepting the historic fate, they put forward a proposal to resolve the multiple crises facing humanity. Food sovereignty is a process of building social movements and allows individuals to organize their societies in a way that transcends the neoliberal vision of a world of goods, markets and selfish economic actors and actresses. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the myriad of complex problems we face today. On the contrary, the food sovereignty process adapts to the individuals and places where it is put into practice.

Food sovereignty is synonymous with solidarity, not competition. It helps build a fairer world from the bottom up. Food sovereignty has emerged to offer an answer and an alternative to the neoliberal model of corporate globalization. As such, it is internationalist in nature and provides a framework for understanding and transforming international governance around food and agriculture. "[4].

In these moments of pandemic, let's take the opportunity to rethink our system, put in place alternatives for food sovereignty and support the peasants who are already working in this direction.

[1]Isabelle Porter, Le Devoir: Foreign workers forced to work for up to 18 hours straight.

[2]On exploitation and colonization in Latin America, read the work of the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano The open veins of Latin America . The latter traces the history of the plundering of the natural resources of this territory from the beginning of European colonization in the Americas to contemporary times.

[3]In Mexico, several forests are burned to plant avocado trees and rivers are dried up since this type of culture requires a lot of water. The level of lakes and water tables drops, causing a water war between the villages. For more information, Radio-Canada: Avocado, cursed gold from Mexico .

For quinoa, production has increased as have the prices for this food. Because of this, local people are no longer able to afford it. Read this article in the newspaper Le Monde: Quinoa, the controversial gold of the Andes .

[4]Source for the definition, the website of La Via Campesina .
Listed 16 hours ago by Collectif Emma Goldman

http://ucl-saguenay.blogspot.com/2020/05/quand-notre-production-alimentaire.html
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