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Corporate power: Agrofuels and the expansion of agribusiness

Corporate interest in agrofuels has gone from a casual trot to a full-on stampede over the last few years. For business and politicians alike, agrofuels are certainly one of the more palatable “renewable” forms of energy because they fit easily into the existing petroleum-based economy. But they also present opportunities for profit that the new order of “green” business has wasted no time in capturing. Big money is now flowing into agrofuel projects across the world – with big consequences.

Corporate interest in agrofuels has gone from a casual trot to a full-on stampede over the last few years. For business and politicians alike, agrofuels are certainly one of the more palatable “renewable” forms of energy because they fit easily into the existing petroleum-based economy. But they also present opportunities for profit that the new order of “green” business has wasted no time in capturing. Big money is now flowing into agrofuel projects across the world – with big consequences.

The Exxons of agriculture

World leaders are about to converge for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December, but there is only one major intergovernmental initiative that has emerged to deal with climate change and agriculture – and it is controlled by the world's largest fertiliser companies.

World leaders are about to converge for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December, but there is only one major intergovernmental initiative that has emerged to deal with climate change and agriculture – and it is controlled by the world's largest fertiliser companies.

ITPGR: farmers' rights or a fools bargain?

The Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) held its third session on 1–5 June 2009 in Tunis. Many fine words and declarations of intent were addressed to farmers, while the seed companies consolidated both their unfettered access to all the farmers’ seeds on the planet and their monopoly over seed markets. Notwithstanding the sometimes lively clashes between countries of the South and those of the North, does this “seed treaty” offer any new opportunities to farmers?

The Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGR) held its third session on 1–5 June 2009 in Tunis. Many fine words and declarations of intent were addressed to farmers, while the seed companies consolidated both their unfettered access to all the farmers’ seeds on the planet and their monopoly over seed markets. Notwithstanding the sometimes lively clashes between countries of the South and those of the North, does this “seed treaty” offer any new opportunities to farmers?

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.

2020 Report on Climate Change in Argentina. Who dares to call out agribusiness?

Analysis of Argentina's official report on climate change, regarding both its assessments and its proposals, convinced that real solutions will come hand in hand with a profound change in the agro-food system.

Analysis of Argentina's official report on climate change, regarding both its assessments and its proposals, convinced that real solutions will come hand in hand with a profound change in the agro-food system.

Convergence

Seedling approached a number of people working in different sectors and from different perspectives and get their views on the possibilities for convergence. Our ten-person panel includes people working in the fields of free and open software (FOSS), access to medicines, seeds, communications and the media. (large page - on slow connections, may take a while to download)

Seedling approached a number of people working in different sectors and from different perspectives and get their views on the possibilities for convergence. Our ten-person panel includes people working in the fields of free and open software (FOSS), access to medicines, seeds, communications and the media. (large page - on slow connections, may take a while to download)

Socially responsible farmland investment: a growing trap

Rules on how to “responsibly” invest in farmland are popping up all over the place, from corporate boardrooms to UN meeting halls. But do they really help communities whose lands are being targeted or do they just help investors and the governments that are complicit with them? Where should we—as social movements trying to support communities—focus our efforts? Does it make sense to fight land grabbing by adopting rules on how to do it more responsibly? In this discussion paper, GRAIN aims to stimulate reflection and discussion on these important questions.

Rules on how to “responsibly” invest in farmland are popping up all over the place, from corporate boardrooms to UN meeting halls. But do they really help communities whose lands are being targeted or do they just help investors and the governments that are complicit with them? Where should we—as social movements trying to support communities—focus our efforts? Does it make sense to fight land grabbing by adopting rules on how to do it more responsibly? In this discussion paper, GRAIN aims to stimulate reflection and discussion on these important questions.

Free trade and Mexico’s junk food epidemic

Transnational food companies are taking over traditional distribution channels in the South and replacing local foods with cheap, processed junk food, often with the direct support of governments. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to their success. The case of Mexico provides a stark picture of the consequences for the world's poorest people.

Transnational food companies are taking over traditional distribution channels in the South and replacing local foods with cheap, processed junk food, often with the direct support of governments. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to their success. The case of Mexico provides a stark picture of the consequences for the world's poorest people.

Global agribusiness: two decades of plunder

We offer a brief overview of the expansion of agribusiness in the global food system in the past two decades, with some thoughts on what we can expect from these companies in the years ahead.

We offer a brief overview of the expansion of agribusiness in the global food system in the past two decades, with some thoughts on what we can expect from these companies in the years ahead.

Asian farmers unite to stop Golden Rice

Farmers and sectoral organisations attending a conference in the Philippines have united to stop the commercialisation of transgenic Golden Rice, saying this will decimate indigenous rice genetic diversity, and affect farmers’ rights, people’s health and the environment.

Farmers and sectoral organisations attending a conference in the Philippines have united to stop the commercialisation of transgenic Golden Rice, saying this will decimate indigenous rice genetic diversity, and affect farmers’ rights, people’s health and the environment.

Africa's land and family farms - up for grabs?

Over the years many Big Ideas have been imposed on Africa from outside. The latest is that the region should sell or lease millions of hectares of land to foreign investors, who will bring resources and up-to-date technology. None of the blueprints has worked, and African farmers have become increasingly impoverished. It is time for Africans to turn to their own histories, knowledge and resources.

Over the years many Big Ideas have been imposed on Africa from outside. The latest is that the region should sell or lease millions of hectares of land to foreign investors, who will bring resources and up-to-date technology. None of the blueprints has worked, and African farmers have become increasingly impoverished. It is time for Africans to turn to their own histories, knowledge and resources.

Cornell Alliance for Science is a PR Campaign for the Agrichemical Industry

An excellent investigative piece by Stacy Malkan of "U.S. Right to Know" about the misleading and deceitful practices of the Cornell Alliance for Science.

An excellent investigative piece by Stacy Malkan of "U.S. Right to Know" about the misleading and deceitful practices of the Cornell Alliance for Science.