Indonesia: LVC 6th International Conference 2013

In 2013, for the first time ever, Australian family farmers (not those soulless corporate clones of giant agribusiness) were invited to join with representatives of the 200 million strong, global family farming movement (La Via Campesina) at their 6th International Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia in June 2013.

This was an incredible, once in generation opportunity for Aussie voices and views to connect with those of farmers from 58 other countries in La Via Campesina's 20 year long struggle to end the globalisation of hunger.

A six-member Australian delegation attend this Conference.  This small but dedicated delegation of family farmers and their supporters were able to form our core Australian connection with the 200 million and work to build our contribution to the struggle in ending the globalisation of hunger and making a better world possible.

The facts as we know them:
  • Small-scale agriculture, based on agroecology and food sovereignty, is the only model of food production that offers a sustainable future for the planet and its peoples;
  • The corporate-driven industrialised model of agriculture seeks to deliberately destroy this small scale agriculture and lives of those who practice it;
  • La Via Campesina, as the authentic voice of the peasant, is the only organisation capable of maintaining the integrity and legitimacy of this model of sustainable agriculture and protecting the rights of those who practice it;
  • If they are to survive, Australian family farmers can no longer remain isolated from the knowledge, experiences and global solidarity that comes from meaningful engagement with the global family farming community that is La Via Campesina.
On return from Jakarta, these delegation members have been working to:
  • Build on and strengthen the LVC/Australia family farmer alliance;
  • Coordinator ongoing LVC/Australian farmer family cultural exchanges;
  • Initiate a range of activities to share their learnings and experiences with other family farmers across Australia;  and
  • Help establish an Australian Family Farming Organisation which can be accepted for formal membership of La Via Campesina.
Delegate profiles:


Garry Fetherston

Garry produces bananas on his farm, Featherview, in Mullumbimby, Northern New South Wales. Garry has been converting his farm to a biological system that relies on nutrients from organic mulch, chipped branched wood, composted banana trash and brewed compost tea. He grows his bananas without using any chemical pesticides ie. fungicides, herbicides or insecticides.

Cris and Lee-Anne Geri

Cris and Lee-Anne’s farm, Rawganix is in Tansey in South East Queensland. They are currently producing certified organic eggs, olives, grain, beef and sheep. Their long term aim is to provide produce from their farm with no disruption to the biological systems in which their food is produced.

Samantha Palmer

Samantha and Ray Palmer’s small family farm, Symara Organic Farm, grows a large and constantly changing selection of vegetables, herbs and fruit, and is located just north of Stanthorpe in the heart of Queensland's Granite Belt. Their passion is to grow quality organic food, sustainably, for their local community, using and sharing new and old knowledge and at the same time caring for the fragile, natural bushland abundant on their farm.


Dianne James

Dianne James is a partner in Reciprocity, a self funded, profit-for-purpose, social enterprise business dedicated to the evolution of a strong and united global peasant movement – La Via Campesina. For the past 5 years, Reciprocity has been a key contributer to initiating long term relationships between La Via Campesina and the Australian family farming community.

Luke Sbeghen

Luke Sbeghen is Procurement Manager at Food Connect, fuelled by the knowledge that Food Connect's vision of connecting ecologically friendly family farms directly with subscribers is helping to reinvigorate respect for farmers and the land they nurture.