From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Ag Missions Plans Delegation to Assemblies in Brazil Jan. 21-28

From "Nat'l Council of Churches" <>
Date Tue, 14 Jan 2003 15:30:10 -0500

National Council of Churches
Contact: Stephen Bartlett,
Tel: 502 894-9308 or 212 870-2553.

Agricultural Missions Agrarian Delegation to Participate in World Social
Forum and Via Campesina Assemblies in Brazil, January 21-28, 2003

January 14, 2003, NEW YORK CITY - Agricultural Missions, Inc. - a U.S.
ecumenical ministry of accompaniment with rural peoples movements and
farmers organizations -- is organizing and coordinating a 16-person U.S.
Agrarian Delegation to the Via Campesina Assembly (Jan 21-23, 2003) and the
3rd World Social Forum (Jan 23-28, 2003), both to be held in Porto Alegre,

Agricultural Missions Latin America liaison and agriculturalist Stephen
Bartlett will be accompanying the delegation and helping to integrate a wide
range of organizational representatives of small farmers, farm workers and
urban youth agriculturalists into the growing international coalition known
as Via Campesina and in the dynamic and massive World Social Forum (WSF),
with up to 100,000 people expected to attend.

U.S. organizations represented in this delegation include the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers (involved in Taco Bell boycott), CITA (a farm worker
solidarity organization in New York State), the Food Project of Boston, Farm
Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), the Women, Food and Agriculture network
of Iowa, the Community Farm Alliance of Kentucky, Family Farm Defenders, the
Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA), PCUN (a farm worker
organization in Oregon) and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives (an
African American farmer advocacy organization), joining together with the
National Family Farm Coalition which was the only U.S. farmer organization
previously involved in Via Campesina.

Issues to be discussed and actions planned for in Brazil include: exclusion
of agriculture from international free trade agreements and World Trade
Organization rules, a moratorium on the use of patented GMO seeds in
agriculture, and promotion of an alternative, environmentally sound, farmer
controlled agricultural production and marketing model based on the primacy
of local markets, ecological sustainability, democratic process, and
economic justice and solidarity.

Additional funding for delegate air tickets to Brazil came from Oxfam
America, board members of Agricultural Missions, and the Presbyterian Church
USA Hunger Program.  For more information, please contact Stephen Bartlett,  (Tel: 502 894-9308 or 212 870-2553.)


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