Small farmers mobilize in Madrid to protest EU's neoliberal trade agenda

Representatives of La Via Campesina from Europe and Latin America joined the demonstrations in Madrid on Monday 17th May demanding that the more than sixty heads of state from Europe and Latin America abandon negotiations to sign free-trade agreements between their countries and regions and the EU.

"The only beneficiaries of such agreements are the same transnational corporations and international financial investors which have caused the current economic, social, environmental and political crisis," said a spokeswoman for the group, which brings together small farmers and their organisations across the globe. "The ideology of infinite growth based on neoliberal trade conditions managed by international speculative funds and banking systems is dead. It is not in the interests of the people of Europe or Latin America to sign the agreements imposed by the European Commission."

Small farmers from the Coordinacion Latinoamericano de los Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC) and the European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) are united in defending their sustainable family farms, and in building links based on solidarity as opposed to competition. They insist that their role is to produce food for their communities and peoples, and not to allow intermediaries such as food export multinationals and processing industries define food, agricultural and trade policies in their countries.