The overall objective of GRAIN's programme is to deepen public understanding of the forces shaping the global and local food systems and their impact on farming and food security, and to support social movements and civil society organisations in advancing towards food sovereignty. 

We are best known for our strategic information work and incisive analysis of global trends in the food system. But we also actively support and link social movements around the world that are building food sovereignty and creating more diverse food and farming systems.

Examples of our information work include:
  • Since 1998 up until today, we partner with several Latin American organisations to produce a quarterly magazine in Spanish, Biodiversidad: Sustento y Culturas.  
  • Another periodical from GRAIN is the Supermarket watch Asia, a quarterly email bulletin for social movements about developments in food retail and distribution in Asia.
  • GRAIN also produces multimedia materials such as short films, video animations, comic books and posters, mainly for educational purposes.
  • GRAIN was also known for its magazine Seedling, which we have published on a regular basis from 1990 until 2011. 
GRAIN’s programme work is currently organised around four interconnected themes:

Corporations, power and the global food system

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.

Land grabbing and land rights

While land grabbing has been going on since ages, today's massive assault on fertile farmland by investors, speculators and food and biofuel corporations is something big and new. Over the past ten years, ever since GRAIN first exposed the issue and put it on the global agenda, land grabbing has become one of our most active areas of work. GRAIN's contribution takes the form of research, information and outreach work. We also support the struggles of different civil society organisations against corporate land deals, especially in Asia and Africa. We do so mainly through capacity building, strategy development and alliance building together with partners that aim to turn the tide. 

People’s control over seeds

The 'seeds issue' was what got GRAIN started almost 30 years ago, and it is still a central area of work for us. The biodiversity in farmers' fields is eroding at alarming rates, while the corporate seed sector is reaching unprecedented levels of control through the push for hybrids, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and concentration. Across the world, governments are promoting or allowing restrictive seed and intellectual property laws that grant exclusive power to the corporate sector while limiting the possibilities of small farmers to save, exchange and further develop their own varieties. But equally all over the world, social movements are sprouting up and growing to challenge these developments and establish networks to conserve and use local materials. This programme area allows GRAIN to be part of this movement and contribute with research and information work, as well as capacity and movement building support.

Food sovereignty to fight the climate crisis

The climate crisis and the food crisis are intimately linked, with the industrial food system - from farm to supermarket - largely responsible for both. Under this programme area, GRAIN draws attention to the responsibility of industrial agriculture and centralised supply chains in causing the climate crisis, and how food sovereignty and peasant-led agroecology offer a tremendous potential to solve a good part of it. We do so through sustained information and outreach activities, and through active strategy development and coalition building with the social movements involved.

In line with GRAIN’s commitment to defy patriarchy and other power dynamics, we have started implementing gender-inclusive language in our publications. Given that English is largely a gender neutral language, the main challenge for us is with our Spanish and French texts, where gender is much more present. Please keep in mind that our translations may no longer be as accurate, since we may tweak how things are expressed while still capturing the same sense across different language versions of our materials. To help the reader find their way, we now indicate the original language of each multilingual publication.

To assist us and our translators in this process, we have put together a gender-inclusive language guide, which we are happy to share. You can download the French guide in a long or short version. The Spanish guide is also available in a long and short version.
Gender-inclusive language guide (EN version)
Guide de GRAIN pour une écriture inclusive respectueuse du genre (version française - longue)
Guide de GRAIN pour une écriture inclusive respectueuse du genre (version française - courte)
Guía de GRAIN de lenguaje incluyente de género (versión en castellano - larga)
Guía de GRAIN de lenguaje incluyente de género (versión en castellano - corta)