The food sovereignty paradigm affirms the fundamental right of peoples to define their food and agricultural policies. This implies that food providers and consumers are directly involved in policy making and institutional choices.
In February 2007, ahead of the Nyéléni Forum for Food Sovereignty, IIED and its partners from India, Indonesia, Iran and Peru facilitated a preparatory workshop for farmers from Mali and neighbouring countries.
Citizens' juries are processes that aims to link local voices and visions with national and international policy making. The idea of making a decision or judgement based on an often randomly selected group of members of society has been accepted in many countries for hundreds of years. The composition of a jury and the way jurors are chosen varies considerably from country to country.
Millions of farmers in Africa depend on export markets for their livelihoods. But recent market trends have led to declining small farmer participation. Yet, these farmers have the skill and soil to provide the high-quality products the food industry seeks. This collaborative initiative engaged with research, civil society and private sector partners to develop new business models across a variety of sectors that enable smallholders to participate in sustainable trading relationships with international businesses and thereby improve their livelihoods.