Commons and Commoning for a Just Agroecological Transition: The importance of de-colonising and de-commodifying our food systems
In book: Resourcing an Agroecological Urbanism: Political, Transformational and Territorial Dimensions (pp.61-84)Publisher: Routledge book series “Food, Society and the Environment”.
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When activists and academics think and implement the agroecological transition, attention shall be paid to re-thinking and re-defining the intellectual, distributive and historical premises behind the past, present and future food systems. Rather than being static and politically neutral, food systems are socio-ecological networks that are in continuous transformation and where interactions are defined by the activities of people and the planet as much as by the ideas that legitimize certain behaviours. In the specific case of the European conventional food systems – that includes both continental Europe and the United Kingdom - today’s picture is the outcome of a series of enclosures and appropriation of lives and nature underpinned by notions of patriarchy, colonialism and that food – like any other object – shall be considered as a commodity whose production and consumption are ruled by the encounter of demand and offer and that is only valued for its market price (exchange value). In this chapter, five research-activists joined together to discuss concrete examples that show that the agroecological transition could be strengthened by the adoption of a political understanding of commons and commoning as intersectional antidotes for a just agroecological transition that rejects the colonial, patriarchal, unjust and anti-ecological premises of the mainstream food systems. Through a combination of theory and practice, history and imagination, empowerment and de-commodification, the chapter brings to the forefront those dimensions of food that cannot be monetised and valued in market terms, showing that political, imaginative and organisational power of commons and commoning can bridge the urban-rural divide, and contribute to the convergence of various movements, including agroecological urbanism and food sovereignty