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.

Corporate control and food sovereignty: issues and ways forward

On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.

On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.

Agroecology for Africa

  A great animated video explains why agroecology is right for Africa. By AFSA

  A great animated video explains why agroecology is right for Africa. By AFSA

Seeds of resistance, harvests of hope: farmers halt a land grab in Mozambique

On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

Civil society letter to UNCITRAL on ISDS reforms

More than 300 civil society organizations from 73 countries urge fundamental reform at UNCITRAL’s investor-state dispute settlement discussions

More than 300 civil society organizations from 73 countries urge fundamental reform at UNCITRAL’s investor-state dispute settlement discussions

ING finances controversial palm oil companies in spite of sustainability policy

As ING launches its sustainable investment campaign, a civil society coalition from Belgium and the Netherlands calls upon ING to clean up their act. ING’s financing of controversial palm oil companies such as SOCFIN is far from sustainable.

As ING launches its sustainable investment campaign, a civil society coalition from Belgium and the Netherlands calls upon ING to clean up their act. ING’s financing of controversial palm oil companies such as SOCFIN is far from sustainable.

World Hunger Day: #ZeroHunger is possible with food sovereignty, agroecology and people’s right to development

Today, October 16, the world led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is celebrating the World Food Day under the theme “A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible”. But for many people, most ironically those who directly produce the world’s food, there is nothing to celebrate. For them, what should be marked today instead is “World Hunger Day” to protest the grim reality faced by countless families around the world, especially in the poor countries and in the rural areas.

Today, October 16, the world led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is celebrating the World Food Day under the theme “A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible”. But for many people, most ironically those who directly produce the world’s food, there is nothing to celebrate. For them, what should be marked today instead is “World Hunger Day” to protest the grim reality faced by countless families around the world, especially in the poor countries and in the rural areas.

We feed the world

Great talk by Jyoti Fernandez of the Landworkers Alliance on the opening night of the We Feed the World exhibition reminding us of the role we all can all play in standing up for a fairer food and farming system.

Great talk by Jyoti Fernandez of the Landworkers Alliance on the opening night of the We Feed the World exhibition reminding us of the role we all can all play in standing up for a fairer food and farming system.

ANZ bank issued rare rebuke by Australian oversight body

ANZ Banking Group violated its own policies and international human rights standards by financing a Cambodian sugar company that seized land from local farmers, according to a statement released today by an Australian government body that monitors corporate behavior overseas. In a rare rebuke of a commercial bank, the Australian National Contact Point found it “difficult to reconcile” ANZ’s decision to finance Phnom Penh Sugar with the bank’s internal rules and the OECD Guidelines, an ethical business code that the Australian government has endorsed.  

ANZ Banking Group violated its own policies and international human rights standards by financing a Cambodian sugar company that seized land from local farmers, according to a statement released today by an Australian government body that monitors corporate behavior overseas. In a rare rebuke of a commercial bank, the Australian National Contact Point found it “difficult to reconcile” ANZ’s decision to finance Phnom Penh Sugar with the bank’s internal rules and the OECD Guidelines, an ethical business code that the Australian government has endorsed.  

This seed bank preserves biodiversity by opening its doors to farmers

The story of Melaku Worede former director of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Insitute, who pioneered a genebank working with farmers: “We believe in conservation through use, in keeping diversity alive as farmers use it."

The story of Melaku Worede former director of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Insitute, who pioneered a genebank working with farmers: “We believe in conservation through use, in keeping diversity alive as farmers use it."

Declaration: No to abuse against women in industrial oil palm plantations

We said it in Mundemba, Cameroon, we reiterated it in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, we re-affirm this in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire: the abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm plantations must STOP!

We said it in Mundemba, Cameroon, we reiterated it in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, we re-affirm this in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire: the abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm plantations must STOP!

Toxic philanthropy: Wealthy US donors are influencing policy to serve their own interests.

Americans gave away almost $400 billion in 2016. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are applauded for their generosity. But who actually benefits from their donations? For every dollar of charitable giving, the U.S. taxpayer has to fork out 50 cents in lost tax revenue. An interesting podcast by Tara Cleary, including an interview with GRAIN about our 2014 report about the role of the Gates Foundation in Africa.  

Americans gave away almost $400 billion in 2016. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are applauded for their generosity. But who actually benefits from their donations? For every dollar of charitable giving, the U.S. taxpayer has to fork out 50 cents in lost tax revenue. An interesting podcast by Tara Cleary, including an interview with GRAIN about our 2014 report about the role of the Gates Foundation in Africa.  

Trade agreements privatising biodiversity outside the WTO: 2018 update

GRAIN has just updated its dataset showing how so-called free trade agreements (FTAs) push for the privatisation of seeds and livestock beyond the rules agreed to at the World Trade Organisation. FTAs often do this by obliging countries to adopt or implement the UPOV convention, what some call "Monsanto laws". 

GRAIN has just updated its dataset showing how so-called free trade agreements (FTAs) push for the privatisation of seeds and livestock beyond the rules agreed to at the World Trade Organisation. FTAs often do this by obliging countries to adopt or implement the UPOV convention, what some call "Monsanto laws". 

Brazil court bans commercialisation and release of new pesticides based on glyphosate, abamectin and tiram in the whole country

On 3 August, a Federal judge in Brasilia, ruled the immediate prohibition of new licenses for products based on three chemicals: Abamectin, Glyphosate and Tiram. The judge also gave a period of up to 30 days for the withdrawal of those already released in the market. The decision still gave another term to the Agência Nacional de vigilância sanitaria (the national sanitary surveillance agency – ANVISA, by its acronym in Portuguese) who has until the end of 2018 to complete the toxicological reassessment of the three chemicals. The decision is valid for the whole country.  

On 3 August, a Federal judge in Brasilia, ruled the immediate prohibition of new licenses for products based on three chemicals: Abamectin, Glyphosate and Tiram. The judge also gave a period of up to 30 days for the withdrawal of those already released in the market. The decision still gave another term to the Agência Nacional de vigilância sanitaria (the national sanitary surveillance agency – ANVISA, by its acronym in Portuguese) who has until the end of 2018 to complete the toxicological reassessment of the three chemicals. The decision is valid for the whole country.  

New study raises red flags on tax haven role in environmental destruction

Tax havens – and the financial secrecy they provide – may bolster industries tied to Amazon deforestation and the unsustainable management of natural resources, a new study has found.  

Tax havens – and the financial secrecy they provide – may bolster industries tied to Amazon deforestation and the unsustainable management of natural resources, a new study has found.  

Paraguay: Ceferina Guerrero, guardian of native and indigenous seeds

Words of Ceferina Guerrero, one of the founders of Conamuri, a native of Repatriación in the department of Coaguazú, Paraguay, speaking on a panel called "Our Seeds Make Us Free" during the “Heñói Jey Paraguay” fair, 3 and 4 August 2018 in Asunción, Paraguay.  

Words of Ceferina Guerrero, one of the founders of Conamuri, a native of Repatriación in the department of Coaguazú, Paraguay, speaking on a panel called "Our Seeds Make Us Free" during the “Heñói Jey Paraguay” fair, 3 and 4 August 2018 in Asunción, Paraguay.