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.

Monopolies on seed: How free trade agreements threaten food security and biodiversity.

A great little video that explains in a concise way how vital agricultural seed systems are, why strict plant variety protection systems threaten them and what this has to do with free trade agreements and biodiversity.

A great little video that explains in a concise way how vital agricultural seed systems are, why strict plant variety protection systems threaten them and what this has to do with free trade agreements and biodiversity.

Cargill knew! The world’s largest agribusiness company knowingly risked the health of its workers during the Covid-19 pandemic to maximise profits

Cargill has now joined the WH Group/Smithfield in having a meat processing plant that is a top national hotspot for Covid-19 infections. As of April 25, its beef processing plant in High River, Alberta had confirmed 558 cases of Covid-19 among its workers, making it one of the worst Covid-19 clusters in Canada. Two weeks earlier, Smithfield’s pork processing plant in South Dakota became the largest cluster for Covid-19 in the US, after more than 800 cases were connected to the plant.

Cargill has now joined the WH Group/Smithfield in having a meat processing plant that is a top national hotspot for Covid-19 infections. As of April 25, its beef processing plant in High River, Alberta had confirmed 558 cases of Covid-19 among its workers, making it one of the worst Covid-19 clusters in Canada. Two weeks earlier, Smithfield’s pork processing plant in South Dakota became the largest cluster for Covid-19 in the US, after more than 800 cases were connected to the plant.

Unravelling the Socfin/Bolloré plantations, thanks to Profundo

In February 2020, the independent Dutch research outfit Profundo published a guide to the corporate structure behind Socfin's oil palm and rubber plantation activities in Africa and Asia. Socfin is a holding company based in Luxembourg. Its main shareholders are Hubert Fabri (Belgium) and Vincent Bolloré (France) and their families, who are bound together in numerous business partnerships.

In February 2020, the independent Dutch research outfit Profundo published a guide to the corporate structure behind Socfin's oil palm and rubber plantation activities in Africa and Asia. Socfin is a holding company based in Luxembourg. Its main shareholders are Hubert Fabri (Belgium) and Vincent Bolloré (France) and their families, who are bound together in numerous business partnerships.

Capitalist agriculture and Covid-19: A deadly combination

A socialist biologist explains the tight links between new viruses, industrial food production, and the profitability of multinational corporations.

A socialist biologist explains the tight links between new viruses, industrial food production, and the profitability of multinational corporations.

GRAIN: 30 years supporting the struggle for food sovereignty

Thirty years ago, on 16 March 1990, an idea became an organisation. It was the day that co-founders Henk Hobbelink and Renée Vellvé, flanked by six committed seed activists who became the organisation’s first Board of directors, officially signed GRAIN into existence in front of a notary in Barcelona, Spain.​​

Thirty years ago, on 16 March 1990, an idea became an organisation. It was the day that co-founders Henk Hobbelink and Renée Vellvé, flanked by six committed seed activists who became the organisation’s first Board of directors, officially signed GRAIN into existence in front of a notary in Barcelona, Spain.​​

Fish farming corporations make a lame attempt to solve their big deforestation problem

In December, three big players in the global seafood industry - Tesco, Nutreco and Grieg Seafood – announced a plan to source sustainable soybeans from a Brazilian region south of the Amazon that is notorious for deforestation and land grabs. Will it make any difference?

In December, three big players in the global seafood industry - Tesco, Nutreco and Grieg Seafood – announced a plan to source sustainable soybeans from a Brazilian region south of the Amazon that is notorious for deforestation and land grabs. Will it make any difference?

Land grabbing by agribusiness also claims lives in Latin America

The business group Cresud controls 370 thousand hectares in the province of Salta, in the ancestral lands of the Wichi people. There, nine children have died from malnutrition and lack of water in the first months of 2020. The expansion of agribusiness in transgenic soya and maize monocultures in the territories has done away with the forest from which these people lived, and which also represented a source of water as part of these ecosystems.

The business group Cresud controls 370 thousand hectares in the province of Salta, in the ancestral lands of the Wichi people. There, nine children have died from malnutrition and lack of water in the first months of 2020. The expansion of agribusiness in transgenic soya and maize monocultures in the territories has done away with the forest from which these people lived, and which also represented a source of water as part of these ecosystems.

Defending Food Sovereignty in the Data Economy

The Just Net Coalition - a global network of civil society actors committed to an open, free, just and equitable Internet - published a video interview with GRAIN staffer Kartini Samon about the impact of the expansion of Big Data on food production and consumption everywhere.

The Just Net Coalition - a global network of civil society actors committed to an open, free, just and equitable Internet - published a video interview with GRAIN staffer Kartini Samon about the impact of the expansion of Big Data on food production and consumption everywhere.

How the data we unmake can make us: a brief reflection from my internship at GRAIN

"Our critical role within society depends on our capacity to unveil the complex story of figures and their related narratives." : An ecological economist shares his story while still an intern in GRAIN investigating GHG emissions and N-fertilizers.

"Our critical role within society depends on our capacity to unveil the complex story of figures and their related narratives." : An ecological economist shares his story while still an intern in GRAIN investigating GHG emissions and N-fertilizers.

再见 Hengfu (Goodbye, Hengfu)

Almost a decade has passed since five companies believed to be subsidiaries of a single Chinese owned firm, Hengfu, were granted a set of economic land concessions by the government of Cambodia. These concessions, signed in 2011, gave the companies 40,000 hectares in the province of Preah Vihear for sugarcane production. This week we learned that the whole project has fallen apart.

Almost a decade has passed since five companies believed to be subsidiaries of a single Chinese owned firm, Hengfu, were granted a set of economic land concessions by the government of Cambodia. These concessions, signed in 2011, gave the companies 40,000 hectares in the province of Preah Vihear for sugarcane production. This week we learned that the whole project has fallen apart.

Resisting RCEP from the ground up: Indian movements show the way

Short piece by GRAIN and India's ICCFM recounting the seven-year long fight carried out in India and other Asia-Pacific countries against the RCEP, a mega free trade agreement. Despite many divisions, the movement against RCEP in India succeeded in getting the government to change course.

Short piece by GRAIN and India's ICCFM recounting the seven-year long fight carried out in India and other Asia-Pacific countries against the RCEP, a mega free trade agreement. Despite many divisions, the movement against RCEP in India succeeded in getting the government to change course.

“Gates Ag One”: one more push to get farmers into high tech

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will set up a new ag research institute. Doesn't look like it will be different from the ones already there. "Gates Ag One" is really one more way to push the Gates agenda for agribusiness.

Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will set up a new ag research institute. Doesn't look like it will be different from the ones already there. "Gates Ag One" is really one more way to push the Gates agenda for agribusiness.

The fight against Senhuile goes on!

On 18 October 2019, several staff from GRAIN and ENDA Pronat visited the leaders of the Collective for the defense of the Ndiaël lands, in the municipality of Ngnith, northern Senegal.

On 18 October 2019, several staff from GRAIN and ENDA Pronat visited the leaders of the Collective for the defense of the Ndiaël lands, in the municipality of Ngnith, northern Senegal.

Ever more extreme infrastructure

We live in an age of ever more “extreme infrastructure". Why? An excellent masterclass piece on the economic logic of the exploding infrastructure projects across the world by Nick Hildyard.

We live in an age of ever more “extreme infrastructure". Why? An excellent masterclass piece on the economic logic of the exploding infrastructure projects across the world by Nick Hildyard.