In October 2017, the Guardian published a story titled “2017 on course to be deadliest on record for land defenders”. By their count, at that moment, the number of people killed because of their stance against mining, agribusiness and other forms of land grabbing, had reached 150. By the end of the year, the number stood at almost 200.
Indeed, it has been a tough year. Not only for land defenders, but for all those involved in the struggle for community-centred and biodiversity-based food systems. In accompanying these struggles, GRAIN staffers mobilised with partners in the peoples’ summit against the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP – a huge Asia-wide trade deal-in-the-making which is likely to impact the livelihoods of 420 million small family farmers that produce 80 percent of Asia’s food. We supported peoples’ organisations in Central and West Africa in their struggles against the expansion of corporate oil palm plantations that invade their lands, helping them get together to strategise and plan together. In December, we co-organised the Forum on Food Sovereignty in Buenos Aires, bringing together over 300 people from all over the world to make a common front against the World Trade Organisation’s corporate trade agenda and new emerging free trade agreements.
While the struggles are harsh, and often painful, there is also good news to draw energy from. The food sovereignty movement is growing and moving forward. This year we saw numerous land grab deals collapse in Africa, we co-produced an inspiring documentary about local seed saving and exchange initiatives in Latin America, and we began documenting the precise role of meat and dairy conglomerates in producing greenhouse gas emissions so that we can address this issue. The amount of people and organisations that are resisting the corporate onslaught of food and farming is growing every year, and so are the number of initiatives coming up with alternatives. At GRAIN, we’re happy and proud to be part of this.
This activity report shares some of the year’s highlights and the challenges ahead. For more information, please continue visiting our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, subscribe to our mailing lists or contact us directly. Please also consider donating to GRAIN to help sustain our work in support of small producers and their struggles against the industrial food system.
You can download this report [7,12 Mb] or read it online, below.