Sovereign food initiative: a vision with costly consequences

The ‘sovereign food’ initiative proposes limiting cross-border trade in foodstuffs and severely regulating the domestic market. The negative consequences of this would be borne both by consumers and producers, writes Regine Sauter. Why not be sovereign over our own food? The proposal certainly sounds positive. Yet the effects of the initiative “for food sovereignty” would be very hard to digest. The initiative calls for a level of state intervention and control that would lead to an agriculture sector dominated by small farmers and cut off from the outside world. The federal government is being called upon to restrict imports of foodstuffs with duties and limits on quantities, and even to forbid some imports altogether. Genetic technology is also to be banned. Prices for agricultural products would be state-controlled, while new subsidies would also be introduced. Finally, the federal government would be bound to intervene in the labour market, to increase the numbers working ...

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