Project Description

Fernando García

Where I am
I was born and live in Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico. In such a large city, people don’t have a relationship with the food they consume. They buy their food at the supermarkets and the last question they ask is who produced this food and how. In 2012, I created an urban agricultural project, Cosecha en Casa, teaching residents to grow their own food and consume it, completely changing the relationship they have with the food they eat.

What I do
Since 2017, I am working in a Mexican multinational company that produces organic products and exports them to 35 countries. It buys raw materials from all over the world, as we can’t grow enough here for the company’s needs. I was hired to ensure that the raw materials are produced organically, promoting the values of sustainability and social responsibility. I bring not only the technical experience in organic agriculture but also the social skills to teach people to move toward a more sustainable and efficient practice. One of my projects is to train Mexican farmers to produce kale, a hearty vegetable which is processed into other nutritious products.

How I understand food sovereignty
For me, food sovereignty is the right of people not only to eat a diverse diet but to have access to nutritious food, because there is a lot of unhealthy food. The social context is very important, because, for poor people in the cities, their access to food is more limited than for people in the countryside. It also means having access to land to grow their own food. And not only to produce to consume, but to produce the food in a way that respects nature. It’s a kind of commitment we make to take care of the Earth.

For many people, food begins in the supermarket or the refrigerator and ends in the garbage. They are surprised to learn about all the different factors and relations that are required to produce healthy food.

What the Legacies project means to me
This project gives a face to the people who produce the food that we eat daily.

Through the exchange, I have learned different ways of living and of thinking about the relations we have with food, from what we produce to what we consume. It has created strong links among us all.

I am one of the legacies of Canadian farmer Dianne Kretschmar who taught me organic agriculture in the early 2000s, which is the base of what I do now. I also knew Fulvio Gioanetto 15 years ago in Mexico and we’ve reconnected through Legacies. The experience I had with Mohawk Chandra Maracle at Six Nations in 2016 helped me to understand that agriculture isn’t only about producing food, but also about sharing the food we produce with the people who are important to us. It closes the circle of the efforts that we put in this beautiful work.

Links to videos and photo essays

Video:
The Soil Is Alive (featuring Fernando with Dianne Kretschmar)

Photo essay:
Promoting Organic Agriculture in Mexico: From Urban Agriculture to Multinational Companies

Photo essay:
Mother’s Milk: The Original Food (featuring Fernando’s partner Hilda Villaseñor)

ICON on the world map: kale