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.

Connecting the dots: insane trade and climate chaos

A great little article about the insanity of the current trade system and how it drives us deeper into the climate crisis. By Sean Keller of Local Futures

A great little article about the insanity of the current trade system and how it drives us deeper into the climate crisis. By Sean Keller of Local Futures

340+ organisations call on the EU to immediately halt trade negotiations with Brazil

In an open letter, over 340 civil society organisations are demanding that the European Union immediately halt free trade agreement negotiations with the Mercosur bloc (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) on the grounds of deteriorating human rights and environmental conditions in Brazil. The letter is addressed to presidents of the EU institutions ahead of the ministerial-level meeting next week in Brussels where EU and Mercosur foreign ministers aim to finalise the negotiations.

In an open letter, over 340 civil society organisations are demanding that the European Union immediately halt free trade agreement negotiations with the Mercosur bloc (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) on the grounds of deteriorating human rights and environmental conditions in Brazil. The letter is addressed to presidents of the EU institutions ahead of the ministerial-level meeting next week in Brussels where EU and Mercosur foreign ministers aim to finalise the negotiations.

“Greening” the Belt and Road Initiative? What about people's rights?

Known as the greatest infrastructure project in history, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has already displaced thousands of small-scale food producers and threatens to displace hundreds of thousands more. It will also cause irreversible loss of biodiversity and significantly aggravate the global climate crisis. Instead of catering to the needs of the affected communities, the Chinese government has recently started to green-wash its BRI investments. National and international civil society organisations monitoring the development of the projects on the ground call upon the government of China to make the Belt and Road Initiative more transparent, to listen to the people affected and to provide real climate solutions.

Known as the greatest infrastructure project in history, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has already displaced thousands of small-scale food producers and threatens to displace hundreds of thousands more. It will also cause irreversible loss of biodiversity and significantly aggravate the global climate crisis. Instead of catering to the needs of the affected communities, the Chinese government has recently started to green-wash its BRI investments. National and international civil society organisations monitoring the development of the projects on the ground call upon the government of China to make the Belt and Road Initiative more transparent, to listen to the people affected and to provide real climate solutions.

Rise of the petri-proteins?

An excellent overview of the potential impact of the growth of lab grown 'meat' under control of the large food corporations

An excellent overview of the potential impact of the growth of lab grown 'meat' under control of the large food corporations

Digitalization of agriculture: what are the risks for farmers and populations in the Global South?

In March 2019, an international meeting of social movements was held in Bangkok, Thailand, devoted to digital justice. About sixty activists and academics from all over the world participated. CETRI (Centre Tricontinental) interviewed Kartini Samon, researcher at GRAIN, who also participated in the meeting.

In March 2019, an international meeting of social movements was held in Bangkok, Thailand, devoted to digital justice. About sixty activists and academics from all over the world participated. CETRI (Centre Tricontinental) interviewed Kartini Samon, researcher at GRAIN, who also participated in the meeting.

Free the Soil – Climate justice not agro-industry!

Free the Soil is a campaign to expose the devastating practices and impacts of industrial agriculture and the major role this industry plays in the escalating climate crisis. Get involved in the campaign for climate justice and against agro-industry!

Free the Soil is a campaign to expose the devastating practices and impacts of industrial agriculture and the major role this industry plays in the escalating climate crisis. Get involved in the campaign for climate justice and against agro-industry!

Glyphosate revolt rocks Germany Inc.

Bayer’s management board suffers massive vote of no confidence over glyphosate.

Bayer’s management board suffers massive vote of no confidence over glyphosate.

Stopping land grabs by university funds: farmers and faculties unite

A great piece by Grassroots Int'l about landgrabbing in Brazil by Harvard University, reporting on a visit of Maisa Mendonça, (director of Rede Social Brazil), and Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN.

A great piece by Grassroots Int'l about landgrabbing in Brazil by Harvard University, reporting on a visit of Maisa Mendonça, (director of Rede Social Brazil), and Devlin Kuyek of GRAIN.

Deceptive IRRI strategy to get Golden Rice approved

The IRRI is desperate to get clearance in Bangladesh for commercial cultivation. They do not care about the potential risks it poses for the country and the major crop rice. It is also a threat to all other rice producing countries. Taking advantage of ‘weak’ regulatory agency and influencing of the authorities with misleading facts in unethical. It is also very surprising that IRRI is showing more interest in getting it approved than the applicant organisation Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. It is IRRI which is trying so hard for the approval using Bangladeshi regulatory agencies on GMOs. Why?

The IRRI is desperate to get clearance in Bangladesh for commercial cultivation. They do not care about the potential risks it poses for the country and the major crop rice. It is also a threat to all other rice producing countries. Taking advantage of ‘weak’ regulatory agency and influencing of the authorities with misleading facts in unethical. It is also very surprising that IRRI is showing more interest in getting it approved than the applicant organisation Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. It is IRRI which is trying so hard for the approval using Bangladeshi regulatory agencies on GMOs. Why?

A dysfunctional plant variety protection system: ten years of UPOV implementation in francophone Africa

In 1999, under the influence of Geneva-based institutions, developed countries and their seed industry, OAPI introduced Annex X on plant variety protection – modelled on UPOV 1991 – into the regional Bangui Agreement. More than 10 years after Annex X entered into force, a report by Mohamed Coulibaly and Bob Brac studies how Annex X has been operationalized, the impact and relevance of UPOV 1991 for the region and, in particular, whether the promises of UPOV 1991 were ever realized for the 17 countries in the OAPI region. The results of the investigation are staggering.

In 1999, under the influence of Geneva-based institutions, developed countries and their seed industry, OAPI introduced Annex X on plant variety protection – modelled on UPOV 1991 – into the regional Bangui Agreement. More than 10 years after Annex X entered into force, a report by Mohamed Coulibaly and Bob Brac studies how Annex X has been operationalized, the impact and relevance of UPOV 1991 for the region and, in particular, whether the promises of UPOV 1991 were ever realized for the 17 countries in the OAPI region. The results of the investigation are staggering.

Interview: Perspectives on supermarkets in the North and South

Does the steamroller effect of supermarkets have the same impacts in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the planet? How does this model attempt to reinvent itself? What are the consequences for local farming? This is what we wanted to know with this interview between Yuna Chiffoleau, research director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research - INRA, France, and Ange-David Baïmey, coordinator of the NGO GRAIN in Africa.

Does the steamroller effect of supermarkets have the same impacts in the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the planet? How does this model attempt to reinvent itself? What are the consequences for local farming? This is what we wanted to know with this interview between Yuna Chiffoleau, research director at the National Institute of Agronomic Research - INRA, France, and Ange-David Baïmey, coordinator of the NGO GRAIN in Africa.

Educating FAO: an urgent need!

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), chose "Forests and Education" as the theme for the 2019 International Day of Forests. But what does FAO mean by “forest education”? A great campaign with action materials launched by the World Rainforest movement

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), chose "Forests and Education" as the theme for the 2019 International Day of Forests. But what does FAO mean by “forest education”? A great campaign with action materials launched by the World Rainforest movement

Women’s role in traditional markets faces the challenge of modern retail

On International Women's Day, we share the reflections of Suci Fitriah Tanjung, of the NGO Solidaritas Perempuan. In her blog post, she describes the important role of women in Indonesia's traditional markets and the challenges they face from the expansion of modern retail.

On International Women's Day, we share the reflections of Suci Fitriah Tanjung, of the NGO Solidaritas Perempuan. In her blog post, she describes the important role of women in Indonesia's traditional markets and the challenges they face from the expansion of modern retail.

Defamatory vs defamation

Over the past few years, GRAIN and other groups have been drawn into a serious of legal actions to defend the rights of people – journalists, rural communities, researchers, NGO workers and unionists – to talk about what they see and experience as land grabbing and other abuses committed not only by multinational corporations in the agribusiness arena, but government authorities and local elites as well.

Over the past few years, GRAIN and other groups have been drawn into a serious of legal actions to defend the rights of people – journalists, rural communities, researchers, NGO workers and unionists – to talk about what they see and experience as land grabbing and other abuses committed not only by multinational corporations in the agribusiness arena, but government authorities and local elites as well.