เครือข่ายเกษตรกรรมทางเลือกภาคอีสาน

Letter to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

In In Solidarity on 10/09/2009 at 2:05 pm

To the Coalition of Immokalee Workers on the eve of your annual encuentro,

The Alternative Agriculture Network – Esan (AAN) is a network of small-scale farmers in northeastern Thailand, made up of more than 3,000 families.  We are a movement of farmers, activists, NGOs and organizers.  We’ve come together to support independent careers, self-reliance, creating power and control over production inputs, and access to resources.  We work together on preserving and expanding local seeds for use in alternative agriculture.  We create spaces in the market to promote safe food for urban consumers.  We monitor agriculture and trade policies and push for policies that represent our interests.  We resist and struggle against policies that are obstacles in the development of family and community self-reliance (for example, GMO technology and corporate-controlled contract farming systems).

As an organization of poor small-scale farmers, we understand and are in solidarity with the struggle of laborers in the United States’ agricultural system.  We also know that there are hundreds of northeastern Thai people (Esan) working in the U.S. as agriculture laborers.  The failure of rural and agricultural development in Thailand has created slums and migratory workers all around the world.  Diversity in production to support family self-sufficiency has also been destroyed.  Resources, land and labor are shifted over to industry – sugarcane, cassava, and corn – all for export, in a market where small farmers have no power or leverage.  Farmers have incurred major losses and earned debt for life, debt to be inherited by their children.

In this situation of oppression, we still have hopes to create food sovereignty. We’ve come together to resist the use of chemical inputs, and lower the costs of production to create family and community self-sufficiency.  We also work on supporting local food systems, for example – more than 200 organic producers in Surin, Mahasarakam and Yasothon provinces have created a market for safe food and built networks with urban consumers interested in supporting us.  This has happened because of our hope to develop a process of creating an alternative society, which brings people of all statuses together.

American people need to understand that they cannot deny the place of migrant labor in society and it’s connection to consumption.  Many of these laborers are in the U.S. to work for the long term.  We don’t have a reason to criticize illegal migrants in America.  Our American friends need to be aware of this system.  We demand that society and the American people who consume tomatoes, every time they eat tomatoes; they know that they are eating goods that come from an unfair system.  This is a food that comes from a system that abuses labor.

We support a place to stand for CIW in every way, the AAN-Esan will stand together with the CIW in the resistance for the rights laborers deserve.  There will be no poverty in a fair society.  Power to poor people’s movements around the world!

Ubon Yoowah

Coordinator – Alternative Agriculture Network – Esan

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: