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.

Mexican rural organisations block Monsanto law to privatize seeds and plants

Progressive small farmer organizations in Mexico scored a victory over transnational corporations that seek to monopolize seed and food patents. When the corporations pushed their bill to modify the Federal Law on Plant Varieties through the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies on March 14, organizations of farmers from across the country sounded the alarm. By organizing quickly, they joined together to pressure legislators and achieved an agreement with the legislative committee to remove the bill from the floor.

Progressive small farmer organizations in Mexico scored a victory over transnational corporations that seek to monopolize seed and food patents. When the corporations pushed their bill to modify the Federal Law on Plant Varieties through the Committee on Agriculture and Livestock of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies on March 14, organizations of farmers from across the country sounded the alarm. By organizing quickly, they joined together to pressure legislators and achieved an agreement with the legislative committee to remove the bill from the floor.

The reasons of maize

Being Mexico the centre of origin of maize, one of the four most crucial crops for humanity, any attack on maize and to the peoples that grow it are attacks against the oldest and most potential strategies of humanity. This is a powerful and beautiful text, presented on October 21st in front of the peoples permanent Tribunal that will session in Mexico from now to 2014.

Being Mexico the centre of origin of maize, one of the four most crucial crops for humanity, any attack on maize and to the peoples that grow it are attacks against the oldest and most potential strategies of humanity. This is a powerful and beautiful text, presented on October 21st in front of the peoples permanent Tribunal that will session in Mexico from now to 2014.

Seeds of freedom - the movie

Seeds of Freedom charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity rich farming systems across the world, to being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system. Worth to see!

Seeds of Freedom charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity rich farming systems across the world, to being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system. Worth to see!

Nestlé becomes latest foreign corporation building mega dairy farms in China

The Swiss multinational corporation has signed an agreement with a local government in north China's Inner Mongolia region to build a 2,000 cow dairy farm in the area. Meanwhile New Zealand's Fonterra, a major supplier of powdered milk to Nestlé, says it will supply 1 billion litres of milk per year from its own farms in China by 2012.

The Swiss multinational corporation has signed an agreement with a local government in north China's Inner Mongolia region to build a 2,000 cow dairy farm in the area. Meanwhile New Zealand's Fonterra, a major supplier of powdered milk to Nestlé, says it will supply 1 billion litres of milk per year from its own farms in China by 2012.

Letter from African Civil Society Critical of Foreign Investment in African Agriculture at G8 Summit

In the lead up to the May 2012 G8 summit in the USA, a meeting was organised to give agribusiness a platform to explain their views and initiatives to acieve food security in Africa. The G8 also dealt with the issue. Here is what the African farmers have to say about it.

In the lead up to the May 2012 G8 summit in the USA, a meeting was organised to give agribusiness a platform to explain their views and initiatives to acieve food security in Africa. The G8 also dealt with the issue. Here is what the African farmers have to say about it.

TetraPak goes "Deeper in the Pyramid"

TetraPak says the world's 2.7 billion low-income people are the next big growth opportunity for the dairy industry. Those people are currently served fresh milk and dairy products by small farmers and local markets. TetraPak wants them buying packaged "alternatives to whole milk" produced by corporations.

TetraPak says the world's 2.7 billion low-income people are the next big growth opportunity for the dairy industry. Those people are currently served fresh milk and dairy products by small farmers and local markets. TetraPak wants them buying packaged "alternatives to whole milk" produced by corporations.

Civil society open letter to EU institutions for a better seed legislation

The European Commission (DG SANCO) is presently working on a review of EU legislation on the Marketing of Seed and Propagating Material. Arche Noah invites you to join an open letter demanding positive change in favour of biodiversity, small farmers, seed savers and consumers.  

The European Commission (DG SANCO) is presently working on a review of EU legislation on the Marketing of Seed and Propagating Material. Arche Noah invites you to join an open letter demanding positive change in favour of biodiversity, small farmers, seed savers and consumers.  

With a corporate culture built on bribery, Walmart was running with plenty to hide

A recent New York Times article exposed how Walmart paid at least $24 million in bribes to facilitate its expansion in Mexico. Wade Rathke of Acorn International wonders whether the same system has been active in Walmart's work to expand and find a foothold in India where their efforts and others to modify the restrictions on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail have been huge political issues in recent months, bringing government to a standstill at some points.

A recent New York Times article exposed how Walmart paid at least $24 million in bribes to facilitate its expansion in Mexico. Wade Rathke of Acorn International wonders whether the same system has been active in Walmart's work to expand and find a foothold in India where their efforts and others to modify the restrictions on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail have been huge political issues in recent months, bringing government to a standstill at some points.

Gulf states outsourcing basmati in the Philippines, while Philippines does the same with hybrid rice in Cambodia

The Philippines' Agriculture Secretary announces his government is going ahead with a large-scale evaluation of three Basmati rice varieties for export to Kuwait and Qatar, while, at the same time, he says they are pursuing the outsourcing of hybrid rice production in Cambodia.

The Philippines' Agriculture Secretary announces his government is going ahead with a large-scale evaluation of three Basmati rice varieties for export to Kuwait and Qatar, while, at the same time, he says they are pursuing the outsourcing of hybrid rice production in Cambodia.

Livestock out of balance: From asset to liability in the course of the Livestock Revolution

Study investigates the impact of the Livestock Revolution on farmers. It finds that livestock has turned in many cases from an asset into a liability, since farmers and livestock keepers, in order to remain competitive, are drawn into a debt trap, because of high initial investments on one side, and because they are squeezed between escalating input prices and the consolidated power of the food processors and supermarket chains on the other.

Study investigates the impact of the Livestock Revolution on farmers. It finds that livestock has turned in many cases from an asset into a liability, since farmers and livestock keepers, in order to remain competitive, are drawn into a debt trap, because of high initial investments on one side, and because they are squeezed between escalating input prices and the consolidated power of the food processors and supermarket chains on the other.

‘Obesogenic’ food systems must be reformed

“The West is exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets,” warns Olivier De Schutter, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the right to food. He calls for an urgent response to the public health disaster of poor nutrition.

“The West is exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets,” warns Olivier De Schutter, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the right to food. He calls for an urgent response to the public health disaster of poor nutrition.

Land grabs leave Africa thirsty

An excellent new report from Polaris and the Oakland institute on the impact of landgrabbing on water use in Africa. 'If all the 40 million hectares of land that were acquired on the continent in 2009 come under cultivation, a staggering volume of water would be required for irrigation (…) approximately twice the volume of water that was used for agriculture in all of Africa in 2005'.

An excellent new report from Polaris and the Oakland institute on the impact of landgrabbing on water use in Africa. 'If all the 40 million hectares of land that were acquired on the continent in 2009 come under cultivation, a staggering volume of water would be required for irrigation (…) approximately twice the volume of water that was used for agriculture in all of Africa in 2005'.

"Corporate person" Cargill, Inc. under arrest

A colorful crowd of 40 Occupy activists, food justice advocates, farmers, and anti-corporate-personhood protestors braved below freezing temperatures to voice their grievances and stage a mock citizen’s arrest of Cargill Inc. in downtown Minneapolis, USA.

A colorful crowd of 40 Occupy activists, food justice advocates, farmers, and anti-corporate-personhood protestors braved below freezing temperatures to voice their grievances and stage a mock citizen’s arrest of Cargill Inc. in downtown Minneapolis, USA.

Campesino land struggles in Honduras

The Aguán River Valley in the department of Colón, Honduras, is a site of both an ongoing conflict and a powerful social movement. The situation of the local farmers was further exacerbated by the 2009 military coup in Honduras. But their communities are also unfailingly resilient. A story of repression and resistance.

The Aguán River Valley in the department of Colón, Honduras, is a site of both an ongoing conflict and a powerful social movement. The situation of the local farmers was further exacerbated by the 2009 military coup in Honduras. But their communities are also unfailingly resilient. A story of repression and resistance.