Toronto is set to become the first large North American city to establish a food sovereignty movement, empowering citizens to assert the black community’s right to produce and control foods that would otherwise be subsidized by the city.
According to the Toronto Star, Black Power Food Sovereignty is being undertaken by activists in the Aboriginal food justice movement who are determined to find ways for local communities to influence the local food supply.
The initiative is aimed at establishing food sovereignty while also protecting the city’s residents from what organizers describe as a “massive, disproportional investment of public money by Canada’s federal and provincial governments.”
Currently, the majority of local food subsidies are concentrated among “a small minority of companies whose owners have received much of Canada’s $3.4 billion annual agricultural handout,” according to a video released by the group.
This, even though about 55 percent of the population of the city is African-Canadian and the Indigenous population is about 16 percent.
Despite the tax monies being invested by the city to support the food industry, Black Power Food Sovereignty is urging municipal authorities to divest from the industry and instead invest in non-competitive initiatives that protect consumers from contaminated food and reduces reliance on international food commodities.