National and international policies on agriculture, environment and trade have a global impact on food security and farmers’ livelihoods. This is why a key area of work for USC Canada is championing farmers’ rights, food sovereignty and food system resilience, on the national and international stage.
USC Canada collaborates with a national and international network of civil society organizations engaged in advocating for food justice around the world. Our contribution aims to amplify the voices of our southern and Canadian partners by sharing the lessons we have learned from six decades of work with rural communities. Our direct experience in international development and seed security issues means our positions are grounded in the experiences of those who farm the land, protect biodiversity and seeds, and nourish the health of the ecosystems they depend on.
USC Canada supports our southern partners in their efforts to work with their governments to adopt approaches that are supportive of small-scale farmers. Whenever possible, we convene bilateral or multi-lateral policy dialogues that feature the expertise, knowledge and experience of the small-scale farmers who work with our Seeds of Survival program.
Globally, USC Canada is involved in several key multilateral bodies related to food and biodiversity. These include the Committee for World Food Security, the UN Biological Diversity Convention and the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture. USC Canada staff and partners play leadership roles in the civil society mechanisms that interact with these institutions. The goal is to influence public policy to support small-scale farmers and to enlarge space for their voices to be at the decision-making table.
At home, USC Canada collaborates with civil society organizations working on food, agriculture and seed policy such as Food Secure Canada, the Food Security Policy Group and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, to address emerging policy issues. Activities include holding public events, featuring speakers from across the globe, public awareness campaigns and facilitating dialogue between Canadian politicians, policy-makers and civil society.
USC Canada’s policy work also includes research and knowledge sharing on food and agriculture to inform our policy positions.
Policy Papers and Publications
As a Canadian organization that has spent 70 years working in international development and about 30 years with farmers around the world, USC Canada wants Canada make food security and agriculture a top priority and invest in small-scale farmers, ecological agriculture, and human rights. Here is a policy brief identifying the main ways that Canada's international assistance review can accomplish this.