Later this year, the United Nations is set to hold a historic Food Systems Summit, recognizing the need for urgent action to disrupt business-as-usual practices in the food system. But far from serving as a meaningful avenue for much-needed change, the summit is shaping up to facilitate increased corporate capture of the food system. So much so, that peasant and indigenous-led organizations and civil society groups are organizing an independent counter-summit in order to have their voices heard.
At the heart of the opposition is the fact that the conference has been co-opted by corporate interests who are pushing towards a highly industrialized style of agriculture promoted by supporters of the Green Revolution, an approach that is meant to eradicate hunger by increasing production through hybrid seeds and other agrochemical inputs. It has been widely discredited for failing to achieve its goals and damaging the environment. The Summit’s concept paper perpetuates the same Green Revolution narrative — it is dominated by topics like AI-controlled farming systems, gene editing, and other high-tech solutions geared towards large-scale agriculture, as well as finance and market mechanisms to address food insecurity, with methods like agroecology notably absent or minimally discussed.