Corporations

GRAIN’s central focus is to support social movements across the world in their resistance to the growing corporate control over food production, markets and trade. We undertake research on how corporations – including agribusiness, large retail and the finance industry – displace millions of small-scale food producers and how trade and investment deals impose the legal conditions for it. 

Apart from our information work, we also support the efforts of partners and peoples’ movements to improve strategies, cooperation and popular action to challenge corporate power, and build capacity with them to achieve this.

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.

Lurching from food crisis to food crisis

As the world faces a worsening food crisis, a lot of new data and analysis have been coming out the last few weeks which give us a better understanding of what’s going on and how we might deal with it. At GRAIN, we’ve pulled together a review of key things we’ve learned.

As the world faces a worsening food crisis, a lot of new data and analysis have been coming out the last few weeks which give us a better understanding of what’s going on and how we might deal with it. At GRAIN, we’ve pulled together a review of key things we’ve learned.

Resisting pension fund capitalism: a webinar series

Join us for an upcoming webinar series organised by GRAIN and hosted by A Growing Culture, unpacking the current impacts of pension funds and how we can start working towards a more just and equitable system.

Join us for an upcoming webinar series organised by GRAIN and hosted by A Growing Culture, unpacking the current impacts of pension funds and how we can start working towards a more just and equitable system.

Resisting pension fund capitalism: a webinar series

Join us for an upcoming webinar series organised by GRAIN and hosted by A Growing Culture, unpacking the current impacts of pension funds and how we can start working towards a more just and equitable system.

Join us for an upcoming webinar series organised by GRAIN and hosted by A Growing Culture, unpacking the current impacts of pension funds and how we can start working towards a more just and equitable system.

A Century of Agro-Colonialism in the DR Congo

Many of the oil palm plantations now owned by multinational corporations in West and Central Africa were built on lands stolen from local communities during colonial occupations. This is the case in what is known today as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Anglo-Dutch multinational food company Unilever began building its palm oil empire. Today, these plantations are sites of on-going poverty, conflict and violence.

Many of the oil palm plantations now owned by multinational corporations in West and Central Africa were built on lands stolen from local communities during colonial occupations. This is the case in what is known today as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Anglo-Dutch multinational food company Unilever began building its palm oil empire. Today, these plantations are sites of on-going poverty, conflict and violence.

Peasants still feed the world, even if FAO claims otherwise

The FAO has bumbled into a controversy over whether peasants or agribusiness feed most of the world. Seven organisations with long experience working on food and farming issues have written to the Director General of the FAO sharply criticizing the UN agency for a 2021 report that is statistically confusing and contradicts FAO positions.

The FAO has bumbled into a controversy over whether peasants or agribusiness feed most of the world. Seven organisations with long experience working on food and farming issues have written to the Director General of the FAO sharply criticizing the UN agency for a 2021 report that is statistically confusing and contradicts FAO positions.

Corporations make a killing milking Africa

Africa's vibrant dairy sector is under threat. Multinational dairy corporations see the continent as a dumping ground for their excess production and as a new frontier for their processed dairy products. They are pushing for regulations, trade measures and agribusiness projects that will undermine local dairy systems and give them monopoly control over Africa's rapidly growing urban markets.

Africa's vibrant dairy sector is under threat. Multinational dairy corporations see the continent as a dumping ground for their excess production and as a new frontier for their processed dairy products. They are pushing for regulations, trade measures and agribusiness projects that will undermine local dairy systems and give them monopoly control over Africa's rapidly growing urban markets.

Governments use a pig pandemic to expand corporate power and crush small farms

A variant of African swine fever that entered Europe in 2007 has laid waste to pig farms in Eastern Europe and Asia and, now, for the first time in 40 years, ASF is back in the Americas. The corporate approach to “biosecurity” will not stop ASF, and it will only make the world more vulnerable to new diseases.

A variant of African swine fever that entered Europe in 2007 has laid waste to pig farms in Eastern Europe and Asia and, now, for the first time in 40 years, ASF is back in the Americas. The corporate approach to “biosecurity” will not stop ASF, and it will only make the world more vulnerable to new diseases.

The corporate attack on Pakistan’s small dairies

Under the banner of pasteurisation and modernisation of the dairy sector, the Government of Pakistan, dairy corporations and international agencies like USAID, are on the offensive to marginalize smallholder dairies. Corporate dairies are not leaving any stone unturned to damage the reputation of fresh, local milk.

Under the banner of pasteurisation and modernisation of the dairy sector, the Government of Pakistan, dairy corporations and international agencies like USAID, are on the offensive to marginalize smallholder dairies. Corporate dairies are not leaving any stone unturned to damage the reputation of fresh, local milk.

Big Food in Africa: Endangering people’s health

In the following publication, we have collected examples from across the African continent that highlight the dangers of the industrial food system, but also demonstrate the pushback taking place from consumers and small producers. These food safety scandals illustrate our argument that the industrial food system does not care about nutrition or health, but of profits.

In the following publication, we have collected examples from across the African continent that highlight the dangers of the industrial food system, but also demonstrate the pushback taking place from consumers and small producers. These food safety scandals illustrate our argument that the industrial food system does not care about nutrition or health, but of profits.

A label for bicycle chicken? Time to ask some questions!

On July 2021, the government of Burkina Faso announced the launch of a project to provide a label for “bicycle chicken”, as local chicken is known there and in other African countries. According to the government, the aim of this label is to protect local Burkina Faso chicken from imported broiler chickens. But how can it be attributed to just one country? And if the aim is to protect a breed of chicken via the market, doesn’t creating a label run the risk of promoting its industrialisation?

On July 2021, the government of Burkina Faso announced the launch of a project to provide a label for “bicycle chicken”, as local chicken is known there and in other African countries. According to the government, the aim of this label is to protect local Burkina Faso chicken from imported broiler chickens. But how can it be attributed to just one country? And if the aim is to protect a breed of chicken via the market, doesn’t creating a label run the risk of promoting its industrialisation?

How the Gates Foundation is driving the food system, in the wrong direction

Over the past 17 years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent nearly US$6 billion on agriculture. In a new report, GRAIN analyses all the food and agriculture grants the foundation has made up until 2020, and reveals that while the Foundation allegedly prioritises African farmers, the vast majority of its funding actually goes to groups in North America and Europe.

Over the past 17 years, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent nearly US$6 billion on agriculture. In a new report, GRAIN analyses all the food and agriculture grants the foundation has made up until 2020, and reveals that while the Foundation allegedly prioritises African farmers, the vast majority of its funding actually goes to groups in North America and Europe.

Unmasking the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Through an intricate network of roads, railways and other infrastructure, CPEC intends to create a low-cost route and to increase trade between China and Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. But CPEC projects in Pakistan are paving the way for the takeover of important agriculture sectors by private corporations, and the pushing out of local farmers in the process.

Through an intricate network of roads, railways and other infrastructure, CPEC intends to create a low-cost route and to increase trade between China and Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. But CPEC projects in Pakistan are paving the way for the takeover of important agriculture sectors by private corporations, and the pushing out of local farmers in the process.

EFTA-Mercosur: another low blow to climate, peoples’ rights and food sovereignty

The climate impacts of the EFTA-Mercosur trade deal, if it goes ahead, will be significant, even judging by just a few industrially produced farm commodities. We cannot expand global trade and drive down emissions, as is so urgently needed, at the same time. For this reason alone, the deal must be scrapped.

The climate impacts of the EFTA-Mercosur trade deal, if it goes ahead, will be significant, even judging by just a few industrially produced farm commodities. We cannot expand global trade and drive down emissions, as is so urgently needed, at the same time. For this reason alone, the deal must be scrapped.

Digital control: how Big Tech moves into food and farming (and what it means)

The world’s biggest technology companies and distribution platforms, such as Microsoft and Amazon, have started entering the food sector. What does this mean for small farmers and local food systems? This is leading to a strong and powerful integration between the companies that supply products to farmers (pesticides, tractors, drones, etc) and those that control the flow of data and have access to food consumers.

The world’s biggest technology companies and distribution platforms, such as Microsoft and Amazon, have started entering the food sector. What does this mean for small farmers and local food systems? This is leading to a strong and powerful integration between the companies that supply products to farmers (pesticides, tractors, drones, etc) and those that control the flow of data and have access to food consumers.