I recently linked to a Journal of Peasant Studies article by Miguel Altieri and Victor Toledo about a rising agroecological revolution in Latin America. I wanted to give another special shout-out to this paper, because it critiques the vision of sustainable or fair-trade agriculture that hinges on exporting luxury products. Here's a direct quote: "Niche (organic and/or fair trade) markets for the rich in the North exhibit the same problems of any agro-export scheme that does not prioritize food sovereignty (defined here as the right of people to produce, distribute and consume healthy food in and near their territory in an ecologically sustainable manner), often perpetuating dependence and at times hunger."
I had criticized Altieri in a past post precisely for what I felt was his advocacy of keeping Third World peasants poor but ecologically friendly, and providing environmentally-friendly luxury goods like chocolate and coffee for rich-world consumers. I still feel that the article of his I was referring to when I made this critique does tend towards this vision, especially in its concluding paragraphs, but I respect Altieri more intellectually after having read the new article in the Journal of Peasant Studies.
In this post I also want to link to two older papers I'm currently reading by Frederick Buttel and A. Wezel et al. reviewing different conceptions of agroecology. Buttel touches especially on agroecology in the US and land-grant universities, while Wezel et al. have a broader historical and geographical focus.