"Food sovereignty" is a term originally coined by Via Campesina in a flyer at the World Food Summit +5 (Rome, 2002) to refer to a concept advocated by a number of farmers', peasants', and fishermen's organizations, namely the claimed "right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture," in contradistinction to having food largely subject to international market forces.
Peter Rosset, writing in Food First's Backgrounder, fall 2003, argues that "Food sovereignty goes beyond the concept of food security... [Food security] means that... [everyone] must have the certainty of having enough to eat each day[,] ... but says nothing about where that food comes from or how it is produced." The concept of food sovereignty includes support for smallholders and for collectively owned farms, fisheries, etc., rather than industrializing these sectors in a minimally regulated global economy.
"Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture; to protect and regulate domestic agricultural production and trade in order to achieve sustainable development objectives; to determine the extent to which they want to be self reliant; to restrict the dumping of products in their markets, and; to provide local fisheries-based communities the priority in managing the use of and the rights to aquatic resources. Food sovereignty does not negate trade, but rather, it promotes the formulation of trade policies and practices that serve the rights of peoples to safe, healthy and ecologically sustainable production."
"Statement on People's Food Sovereignty" by Via Campesina, et. al.