CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | AUGUST 3, 2023

August 2023 E-News
People Over Profit! CAGJ Workshop Recap
SLEE is 2 Months Away!
AGRA Watch Invited to 2nd Pan-African Seed Governance Conference
Rich Appetites Film Screening with MVIWATA
Help get Fair Credit for Farmers Act into the Farm Bill!
2023 Farm Bill Platform
PODCAST: The Farm Bill Uprooted
UN Warns of Dramatic Increases in World Hunger
Déjà Vu: The development approach of AGRA fails again
The corn conflict between Mexico and the USA
Local events


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People Over Profit! Seattle Peoples’ Summit Against APEC
CAGJ Workshop Recap: We Say NO to Zillionaires! How Big Philanthropy is Shaping the Future of Food

A crowd of PNW POP attenders stand together and hold banners protesting against APEC

This weekend (July 29-30), CAGJ joined the rest of the PNW POP (People Over Profit) Coalition to bring attention to the beginning of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meetings, taking place this month at the Seattle Convention Center.

On Saturday, energy was high at the Peoples’ Summit, with over 400 in attendance! CAGJ gave a well-attended workshop, “We Say NO to Zillionaires! How Big Philanthropy is Shaping the Future of Food”, which included a screening of Rich Appetites film, Seeds, and a lively discussion and activities facilitated by CAGJ Director Heather and Organizer Noël Lum. Find the livestream on our Instagram!

The day was jam-packed with a keynote address by Eni Lestari of the International Migrants Alliance, a panel on Building an International Grassroots Movement Against Profit-Oriented Institutions, a ton of participatory workshops, delicious food, and a closing keynote by Katie Comfort of the International Women’s Alliance. See Livestream: Part I and Livestream: Part II

Read more about it, including what is wrong with APEC! And join these upcoming WA Fair Trade Coalition events to learn more about why we are fighting for better trade policy:

MON Aug 7, 4PM
Town Hall on "Digital Trade"

Join U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal and local and national experts for a conversation on current “digital trade” proposals and their implications for worker rights, AI discrimination, consumer privacy and anti-monopoly in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe. More info and registration.

TUES Aug 8, 12PM
Help Stop Trade Attacks on Climate Action

Please join the Washington Fair Trade Coalition and our environmental partners as we deliver a letter from roughly 200 state-and-local climate groups to government officials at the Seattle APEC meetings calling for a “Climate Peace Clause” that would end trade attacks threatening climate initiatives in Washington and throughout the world. More info and RSVP.


For August’s Activist Profile, we are highlighting Webster Walker, a long-time supporter and contributor who currently sits on the Steering Committee as AGRA Watch Co-Chair. Webster played a central role in updating CAGJ's Theory of Change. They shared that, to them, “Systemic change, involving democratization of society, the economy, and wealth, will make food sovereignty possible. The basic operating system of the economy — investor ownership and extraction of profit — will be replaced by ownership and accounting systems that prioritize ecosystems and human communities.” Check out the full interview on our website.


SAT OCT 14, 2023, 5PM Happy Hour, 6PM Dinner
17th Annual SLEE Dinner at St Demetrios Church
New Keynote Speaker: Malik Yakini, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
Tickets on sale AUG 14!

Due to an unforeseen conflict, Nisqually Chairman Willie Frank III is no longer able to join us as keynote speaker for this year’s SLEE dinner. We are very excited however to be welcoming Malik Kenyatta Yakini as our new keynote, who joined CAGJ’s Director Heather Day on a trip to Cameroon last year! 

Malik is an activist and educator who is committed to freedom and justice for African people in particular and humanity in general. Yakini is a co-founder and the Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, which operates a seven-acre farm in Detroit. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Blacks farmers in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa.

How You Can Make SLEE Fabulous:
  • Volunteers make SLEE run smoothly every year! Help out beforehand, or the day-of!
  • Table Captains invite 9 friends to join them at their table, bringing in new members & supporters!
  • Silent Auction items are gratefully received from many members: Can you contribute an experience, night at your cabin, or treasures you're ready to part with?
  • Desserts are one of the best parts of SLEE! Donate your favorite creation!
Please contact SLEE Organizer Noël Lum ([email protected]) to sign up or learn more, and THANK YOU for your support!
AGRA Watch Invited to 2nd Pan-African Seed Governance Conference
August 14-16, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

We are very excited to have been invited to participate in the 2nd Pan-African Seed Governance Conference taking place August 14-16 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. CAGJ director Heather Day and AGRA Watch Co-Chair Bill Aal will represent us, and will give a keynote entitled “From Seeds in the Soil, to Data in the Cloud: How Billionaire Philanthropists and Corporations are Furthering their Control over Agriculture”. These in-person encounters are critical to movement-building, to strengthen our relationships, co-strategize and learn on the ground about how African farmers and food producers are resisting corporate takeover of the land, water and seed. Please make a contribution to help build this cross-border, transnational movement. Every donor will be entered into a raffle to win a basket of Tanzanian treasures! Donate here.

Rich Appetites Film Screening with MVIWATA
We are very honored to be organizing a screening of our film series Rich Appetites with MVIWATA, an incredible peasant organization founded in 1993 with 300,000 members, who is currently hosting the secretariat of La Via Campesina. “Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania - MVIWATA - is a national farmers organization which brings together small holder farmers from all regions of Tanzania in order to have a common voice to defend economic, social, cultural and political interests of smallholder farmers. Literally, MVIWATA is Swahili acronym for the National Network of Small-Scale Farmers Groups in Tanzania…Currently MVIWATA is the largest small-holder farmers grassroot movement in the country with branches in all regions in the mainland and Zanzibar spiralling down to village levels.”


Help get Fair Credit for Farmers Act into the Farm Bill!

We at National Family Farm Coalition (including CAGJ!) are happy to announce that one of our key Farm Bill priority bills - the Fair Credit for Farmers Act (S.2668) - has been introduced by Sen. Gillibrand in the Senate! This legislative effort addresses some key systemic lending challenges our farmer members, particularly smaller-scale and diversified farms, and farmers of color, have encountered for decades in the Farm Service Agency (FSA). While FSA is often referred to as the 'lender of last resort', for many family farmers FSA is the only option (which is not always a bad thing, farmers have more borrower rights with FSA as a public institution than with commercial lenders). But too often, the balance of power between the farmer and FSA is unbalanced and inequitable, leading to discrimination, loan denials, and financial ruin for farmers. In developing oversight, transparency, farmer borrower rights provisions to address these issues in our bill, our member group RAFI-USA brought their deep technical assistance expertise and experience to the formulation of this bill. We also thank the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, NOFA - New York, and several other NFFC member groups and allies for incorporating this bill into their Farm Bill platforms and signing-on as early champions. 

Now it's time to get this proposal into the Farm Bill, and we need all hands on deck!

A lot of work over two years went into this policy proposal, and we are now well positioned to push these priority credit reforms into the Farm Bill, so please help us build support for the Fair Credit for Farmers Act in and outside of Congress!


2023 Farm Bill Platform
As a member of the National Family Farm Coalition, CAGJ endorsed NFFC’s NEW 2023 Farm Bill Platform. The platform includes top policy priorities that underscore our shared dedication to family farmers, ranchers, and their communities, NOT corporate profits. The 2023 Farm Bill is a key opportunity to level the playing field for family farmers, creating a path to more resilient communities. Together, we call on legislators to pass a just Farm Bill that removes barriers to accessing land, credit, and debt relief for young and historically underserved farmers, while supporting fair prices for all family farmers. Click here to read the full platform.
PODCAST: The Farm Bill Uprooted, Episode One: Overgrown
July 12, 2023 - IATP
How do we ensure fair prices for farmers and consumers while building climate resilience, protecting the environment and sustaining rural communities? And what happens when Farm Bill policies incentivize the opposite approach? Hear from IATP’s Ben Lilliston and Karen Hansen-Kuhn in Episode One of the Farm Bill Uprooted, which dives into Farm Bill basics, and how it has shaped a food and farm system dominated by commodity production and overgrown corporate agribusiness interests. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript.
UN Warns Pandemic, Climate & Ukraine War Have Dramatically Increased World Hunger: Featuring Joint Letter to USAID from CAGJ & AFSA
July 14, 2023 - Nermeen Shaikh, Million Belay, Raj Patel, Democracy Now!

The United Nations this week released its annual report on nutrition, finding that the pandemic, extreme weather shocks and the war in Ukraine have all contributed to food insecurity around the world — now higher than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials estimate that the world saw an increase of more than 100 million people facing hunger in 2022 compared to 2019. In this recorded show, Nermeen Shaikh speaks with Million Belay and Raj Patel about the findings of this report and, in particular, why hunger has been rising in Africa for the last 10 years. Listen to the show or read the transcript. In the discussion, Democracy Now features the open letter we recently sent to USAID administrator Samantha Powers.

Read the joint letter to USAID from CAGJ/AGRA Watch & AFSA: “Fund Sustainable Food Systems in Africa, not an Industrial “Green Revolution”: An Open Letter to the US Agency for International Development”

Déjà Vu: The development approach of AGRA - the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa - fails again
July 2023, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
In late 2022, following an over two-year delay, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and its implementing development bank, the Credit Institute for Reconstruction (KfW), published a mid-term review of the projects they funded in Burkina Faso and Ghana as part of phase 1 of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) programme. The mid-term review of the AGRA projects commissioned by the German government once again confirms the failure of AGRA’s development approach. The evaluation reveals several highly problematic consequences for the two project countries and especially for the farmers involved in the projects. Read the report.
The corn conflict between Mexico and the USA: smoke and mirrors
July 18, 2023 - GRAIN
Since Mexico’s announcement, in 2020, that it would ban trade in genetically modified corn and glyphosate as well as the domestic use of these products, a public dispute instigated by the United States has been gathering steam. The measures announced by the Mexican government to prevent transgenic contamination of the immense diversity of the country’s native maize range from extreme ambivalence to attempts to score points in the media, with public confusion being the result. Read more.


SUN Aug 6, 10AM
Walking Together in Remembrance
C2C will be publicly recognizing the anniversary of the passing of farmworker Honesto Silva Ibarra, who died due to heat stress and wildfire smoke in Whatcom County in 2017. It is also Hiroshima Remembrance Day. This year we recognize the intersections of many communities who have been impacted by Bellingham’s history of colonization, white supremacy and oppression. We invite you to join us for a 1 mile walking tour in acknowledgement and remembrance of our shared history. This event is a collaboration between Community to Community Development, Nikkei Northwest, the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, Whiteswan Environmental, and Northwest Youth Services. More info.
WED Aug 23, 4 - 7PM
Gay in the Garden | Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands
Come celebrate pride with Tilth Alliance all summer long! Join us for a LGBTQIA+ “weed and greet” hosted by our LGBTQIA+ staff. We’ll maintain garden beds, tend fruit trees, harvest produce, and grow our community with pride. All are welcome! More info and RSVP.
SAT Aug 26, 1 - 2PM
21 ACRES Farm Walk
Farming has never been more essential to our local and global communities. Join us for a tour of the 21 Acres Farm to explore how agroecology, soil health and land stewardship can build resilient local food economies and support direct climate action. Walk along with members of our farm team and visit our organic fields, wetlands, solar-powered projects, and much more. More info and registration.

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