CIW chosen as honoree of the 2012 Food Sovereignty Prize!

“… for creating one of the most powerful and inspiring worker-led movements that is transforming not only an industry but the consciousness of a nation…”

In a truly wonderful bit of news that we are proud to be able to share today, the CIW has been recognized, along with three exceptional international agricultural worker organizations, as an honoree of the 2012 Food Sovereignty Award! Hosted by WhyHunger this year, the Food Sovereignty Award is the project of a wide collaboration of food movement leaders, including the National Family Farm Coalition, Grassroots International, Family Farm Defenders, and the Community Food Security Coalition, among others.

From the website announcing this year’s honorees:


Hunger is not a matter of production, but a matter of justice and democracy. In celebration of those grassroots activists working for a more democratic food system, the fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize champions the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies and the grassroots groups that defend it!

As an alternative to the World Food Prize, the Food Sovereignty Prize honors innovative organizations around the world that are fighting for the right to food for all and dignity for those who put food on our plates. The ceremony will highlight the work of the Korean Women’s Peasant Association, as well as the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement of Sri Lanka, the Unified Peasant Movement of Aguan Region in Honduras and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from the United States.” read more

And because they are so encouraging, we would also like to share the words that accompanied the news of the CIW’s recognition, the reasons given by the award sponsors for including the CIW in such an inspiring group of international organizations:

“The CIW is being recognized for your important and inspiring work, including:

  • fighting for over two decades to ensure that farmworkers are treated justly in the field and succeeding in getting ten of the largest food corporations to commit to improving wages and sign on to the Fair Food Program;
  • creating one of the most powerful and inspiring worker-led movements that is transforming not only an industry but the consciousness of a nation;
  • demonstrating the importance of women’s rights in food and agricultural systems through your women’s group that works to combat sexual harassment and other abuses; and
  • making your work global – focusing not only on the issues here in the United States but on fair trade agreements and labor practices around the world.”

To be recognized by such an meaningful award — with former honorees including the Landless Peasant Movement of Brazil and the Via Campesina — is truly humbling. We would invite all Fair Food allies in the New York City area to make an effort to attend the October 10th award ceremony. Not only will the CIW’s Lucas Benitez be there on behalf of the CIW, but it will be a great opportunity to learn more about the work of the other three honorees, Tom Morello will be there to speak and perform, and it’s free!

Our deepest gratitude goes out to all the food movement leaders who have recognized our work with this award.