Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

The Brazilian state and agri-food corporations are condemned for ecocide of the Cerrado and genocide of its peoples

The ecocide being perpetrated against the Cerrado and the genocide of the Cerrado peoples are taking place in the context of the most persistent war of our time - and the most difficult to win - which is not between nation states. Rather, it is being waged against nature and the ‘peoples of nature’ by large corporations and the people who run them: the dominant minority, referred to as the “commodities people” by the great Yanomami shaman, Davi Kopenawa. This war is much harder to fight because warlords hide behind the names of conglomerates designed to erase their fingerprints and gain legitimacy day after day by the repetition on the stock exchange trading floors of something intangible called "the market".

The ecocide being perpetrated against the Cerrado and the genocide of the Cerrado peoples are taking place in the context of the most persistent war of our time - and the most difficult to win - which is not between nation states. Rather, it is being waged against nature and the ‘peoples of nature’ by large corporations and the people who run them: the dominant minority, referred to as the “commodities people” by the great Yanomami shaman, Davi Kopenawa. This war is much harder to fight because warlords hide behind the names of conglomerates designed to erase their fingerprints and gain legitimacy day after day by the repetition on the stock exchange trading floors of something intangible called "the market".

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil: 19 years is enough

We, and other organisations working with communities affected by industrial oil palm plantations, have repeatedly denounced the RSPO for its failure to address the grievances of communities whose lands were taken by palm oil companies. The fundamental problems with the institution and its certification scheme are described in detail in international statements signed by organisations from around the world in 2008 and in 2018, and recently in reports published in 2021 on the failure of RSPO to prevent deforestation, consult affected communities and address their grievances.

We, and other organisations working with communities affected by industrial oil palm plantations, have repeatedly denounced the RSPO for its failure to address the grievances of communities whose lands were taken by palm oil companies. The fundamental problems with the institution and its certification scheme are described in detail in international statements signed by organisations from around the world in 2008 and in 2018, and recently in reports published in 2021 on the failure of RSPO to prevent deforestation, consult affected communities and address their grievances.

Who profits under UPOV?

As UPOV has expanded, the global seed market has been taken over by a cartel of agrochemical companies. Today, just four of these companies control half of the US$47 billion seed market. They also control 75% of the global agrochemicals market. This is not a coincidence.

As UPOV has expanded, the global seed market has been taken over by a cartel of agrochemical companies. Today, just four of these companies control half of the US$47 billion seed market. They also control 75% of the global agrochemicals market. This is not a coincidence.

Purchasing land in Niger for carbon credits: the new form of greenwashing sweeping Africa

With COP 27 in full swing in Egypt, and all eyes once again on this climate conference – rapidly becoming the great carnival of promises that will never be kept - one question is surely haunting many Nigeriens: will the sale of carbon credits provide any benefit for communities and the climate?

With COP 27 in full swing in Egypt, and all eyes once again on this climate conference – rapidly becoming the great carnival of promises that will never be kept - one question is surely haunting many Nigeriens: will the sale of carbon credits provide any benefit for communities and the climate?

From Asia to Africa: Tentacles of oil palm plantations are squeezing communities dry

There is no other crop that has grown faster globally in the last decade than palm oil. This almost uncontrollable expansion leaves a deep trail of destruction and conflicts around its giant areas of plantations from Southeast Asia to West and Central Africa. As companies take over more community land, they also grab the water sources from them.

There is no other crop that has grown faster globally in the last decade than palm oil. This almost uncontrollable expansion leaves a deep trail of destruction and conflicts around its giant areas of plantations from Southeast Asia to West and Central Africa. As companies take over more community land, they also grab the water sources from them.

We need a movement to take pensions out of financial markets

Conversations held with activists from around the world in May and June webinars of 2022 make clear the need for a movement to take pensions out of financial markets.

Conversations held with activists from around the world in May and June webinars of 2022 make clear the need for a movement to take pensions out of financial markets.

A fertiliser cartel holds the global food system hostage

A new report from INKOTA shows how fertiliser companies squeeze excess profits from the food system and how we have to end the policies and programmes – like AGRA in Africa – that are behind them

A new report from INKOTA shows how fertiliser companies squeeze excess profits from the food system and how we have to end the policies and programmes – like AGRA in Africa – that are behind them

Golden Rice and the push for GMOs won’t solve food crisis, it will make it worse

The commercialisation of Golden Rice and the promotion and de-regulation of GMOs, including gene-edited crops, during a period of intense food crisis threatens to exacerbate inequality and contribute further to the loss of people’s food sovereignty – one of the main reasons why hundreds of millions remain food insecure today

The commercialisation of Golden Rice and the promotion and de-regulation of GMOs, including gene-edited crops, during a period of intense food crisis threatens to exacerbate inequality and contribute further to the loss of people’s food sovereignty – one of the main reasons why hundreds of millions remain food insecure today

Funding industrial agriculture vs agroecology: Not a simple binary

It's often said that we need to "shift funding" from industrial agriculture to agroecology in order to advance food sovereignty. While it’s true that we need to resource and strengthen agroecology, the idea that it’s matter of moving money around, or pointing institutions in a different direction, is not as straightforward as it sounds.

It's often said that we need to "shift funding" from industrial agriculture to agroecology in order to advance food sovereignty. While it’s true that we need to resource and strengthen agroecology, the idea that it’s matter of moving money around, or pointing institutions in a different direction, is not as straightforward as it sounds.

Bolloré case: associations' victory in the Cameroonian palm oil case confirmed

The legal battle initiated by the associations to force Bolloré to remedy the human rights violations denounced in the context of the activities of the Cameroonian subsidiary Socapalm is still ongoing. The appeal judge once again ruled in favour of the associations: one more step for the victims.

The legal battle initiated by the associations to force Bolloré to remedy the human rights violations denounced in the context of the activities of the Cameroonian subsidiary Socapalm is still ongoing. The appeal judge once again ruled in favour of the associations: one more step for the victims.

Ten reasons why certification should not be promoted in the EU anti-deforestation regulation

After careful analysis of the draft legislation, available evidence and our hands-on experience with the effects of certification schemes of soy, palm oil and timber on the ground, we discern 10 arguments as to why certification should not be promoted in the EU anti deforestation regulation.

After careful analysis of the draft legislation, available evidence and our hands-on experience with the effects of certification schemes of soy, palm oil and timber on the ground, we discern 10 arguments as to why certification should not be promoted in the EU anti deforestation regulation.

It’s Africa vs African Union

Under a cloud of secrecy and haste, guidelines are set at AU to promote agrarian extractivism at the expense of food and seed sovereignty of an entire continent. They also situate farmers’ rights and farmer managed seed systems within a corporate seed environment and agenda. Processes like these at the AU provide a basis and affect other guidelines and seed regulatory frameworks at the continental and national processes.

Under a cloud of secrecy and haste, guidelines are set at AU to promote agrarian extractivism at the expense of food and seed sovereignty of an entire continent. They also situate farmers’ rights and farmer managed seed systems within a corporate seed environment and agenda. Processes like these at the AU provide a basis and affect other guidelines and seed regulatory frameworks at the continental and national processes.