An IT billionaire's foray into agribusiness paints a disturbing picture of today's farmland financiers.
Reports are substantial research reports, providing in depth background information and analysis on a given topic. GRAIN briefings are usually written by GRAIN staff, often in collaboration with other organisations or individuals.
Expanding production of cheap palm oil comes at a high price. Destruction of rainforests, labour exploitation, and brutal land grabbing: these are just a few of the nasty consequences that come with today's oil palm plantations.
With palm oil companies finding lands in Indonesia and Malaysia more difficult to acquire, attention is shifting to Africa. Over the past fifteen years, foreign companies have signed over 60 deals covering nearly 4 million hectares in central and western Africa for the development of oil palm plantations. The land grabs are already generating violent conflicts in several African countries.
Food sovereignty for sale: supermarkets are undermining people's control over food and farming in Asia
GRAIN | 17 September 2014 | Reports
In the past decade, food corporations have been taking over a bigger and bigger slice of the retail pie in Asia, with major implications for the entire food chain. Corporate supermarkets are expanding faster in this region than anywhere else on the planet. And as supermarkets and their procurement chains expand, they take revenue out of traditional food systems – and out of the hands of peasants, small scale food producers and traders. They also exert increasing influence over what people eat and how that food is produced.
GRAIN | 28 May 2014 | Reports
It is commonly heard today that small farmers produce most of the world's food. But how many of us realise that they are doing this with less than a quarter of the world's farmland, and that even this meagre share is shrinking fast? GRAIN took an in depth look at the data to see what is going on.
A controversial foreign investment to produce agrofuels for Europe on 20,000 ha of farmland in Senegal has angered communities and sparked violent clashes between peasants and the police. Concerns have also been mounting in Senegal of possible connections between the project and corporate crimes, specifically money laundering.
A broad mobilisation of students, peasants, indigenous networks, scientists and both national and international organisations has succeeded in blocking the release of GM maize in Mexico, the centre of origin for one of humanity's four most important crops.
Mexico is the world centre of origin and diversification of maize, one of four crucial food crops in world agriculture. Now the future of this crop is being put at grave risk by the impending approval of commercial planting of genetically engineered (GE) maize on 2.4 million ha in Mexico. What is being prepared is nothing less than a frontal attack on a crop that is vital to the survival of humanity and on the peoples who have stewarded it for millennia. This report discusses the situation and it connections to ongoing struggles in Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay.
GRAIN | 11 June 2012 | Reports
Food cannot be grown without water. In Africa, one in three people endure water scarcity and climate change will make things worse. Building on Africa’s highly sophisticated indigenous water management systems could help resolve this growing crisis, but these very systems are being destroyed by large-scale land grabs amidst claims that Africa's water is abundant, under-utilised and ready to be harnessed for export-oriented agriculture. GRAIN looks behind the current scramble for land in Africa to reveal a global struggle for what is increasingly seen as a commodity more precious than gold or oil: water.
The great milk robbery: How corporations are stealing livelihoods and a vital source of nutrition from the poor
GRAIN | 07 December 2011 | Reports
Milk is taking on ever-greater importance in the livelihoods and health of the world's poor. Most of the dairy markets that serve the poor are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from farmers who own just a few dairy animals. But such systems of "people's milk" are in direct competition with the ambitions of big dairy companies, such as Nestlé, and a growing number of other wealthy players that want to take over the entire dairy chain in the South, from the farms to the markets. A battle over dairy is under way that will profoundly shape the direction of the global food system and people's lives.
GRAIN | 06 May 2011 | Reports
School children in the US were served 200,000 kilos of meat contaminated with a deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria before the nation's second largest meat packer issued a recall in 2009. A year earlier, six babies died and 300,000 others got horribly sick with kidney problems in China when one of the country's top dairy producers knowingly allowed an industrial chemical into its milk supply. Across the world, people are getting sick and dying from food like never before. Governments and corporations are responding with all kinds of rules and regulations, but few have anything to do with public health. The trade agreements, laws and private standards used to impose their version of "food safety" only entrench corporate food systems that make us sick and devastate those that truly feed and care for people, those based on biodiversity, traditional knowledge, and local markets. People are resisting, whether its movements against GMOs in Benin and "mad cow" beef in Korea or campaigns to defend street hawkers in India and raw milk in Colombia. The question of who defines "food safety" is increasingly central to the struggle over the future of food and agriculture.