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Bulletin boardThe bulletin board 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.

 


 

New report: communities taking control of the food revolution

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The latest report by EJOLT, a global alliance of environmental justice organisations, on the nature and impact of the increasing global biomass trade. The report examines the global evolution of food production and international food trade and identifies related drivers of socio-environmental conflicts. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, global trade in agricultural products grew more than three times faster than agricultural production. Nearly all the new land that had been put into production since 1986 was used to produce export crops. The authors conclude that the EU should revise the Common Agricultural Policy to strengthen small-scale farming, promote shorter production chains, support fair trade schemes, as well as to increase organic and permaculture practices. Henk Hobbelink from GRAIN said that “On this topic, the only real policy recommendation that I see is that the expansion of the commodity crops should be stopped and reversed, and land should be reverted to food production in the hand of small farmers.”

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Tycoon-controlled oil palm groups in Indonesia

Rahmawati Retno Winarni and Jan Willem van Gelder | 20 February 2015 | land grabbing, corporations | Indonesia

The rapid expansion of Indonesian oil palm plantations creates serious environmental and social problems. A report analyse the ownership and financing of 25 large tycoon-controlled business groups that control 31% (3.1 million hectares) of the total planted oil palm plantation at present. These groups still have at least 2 million hectares of undeveloped land banks under control. The most important business groups - in terms of their planted areas - are Sinar Mas Group, Salim Group, Jardine Matheson Group, Wilmar Group and Surya Dumai Group.

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A report on landgrabbing by GRAIN and the Mozambique small farmers movement UNAC has sparked quite some debate in the country. According to Chris Arsenault of Reuters: "Mozambique, a country wracked by hunger, has signed away land concessions three times larger than Greater London to outside investors in the past decade, displacing thousands of farmers in the process, said a report released on Thursday".

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A street vendor in India would need to work for a staggering 350 million years to amass the same amount of wealth as the supermarket's owners, the Walton family – this is just one of the findings of new research by UNI Global Union ahead of worldwide protests against the family's role in global inequality today.

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European taxpayer funds save Canadian Congo plantation paying workers $1 a day, as backers say the move creates jobs.

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How a national food policy could save millions of American lives

Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador and Olivier De Schutter | 10 November 2014 | corporations, technologies, climate crisis, laws & policies, food safety | United States

How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans’ well-being than any other human activity. Yet we have no food policy — no plan or agreed-upon principles — for managing American agriculture or the food system as a whole. That must change. An appeal for a US food policy.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has rejected accusations that too much of its funding goes to Western researchers, saying it is helping small farmers in African countries.

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A new site aims to help you increase your understanding of our food systems – where they came from, how they change, what the challenges are and how to meet them.

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Malawi's Green Revolution

African Centre for Biosafety | 07 October 2014 | corporations, technologies, food crisis | Malawi

The Green Revolution in Malawi is being pushed as the success story that other countries in the continents should follow. The African Centre for Biosafety collaborated with local partners in the country to find out what's really going on, and produced an excellent report that recommends that the country stops following this path and starts supporting small farmers and their food systems instead.

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