GRAIN in 2015: highlights of our activities

2015 was a prolific year for GRAIN. We produced a large number of high impact research reports and databases that became reference points for many groups and individuals working on land, food, seed and climate-related issues—including many who don't necessarily agree with us. At the same time, we worked with partners on the ground, supporting their capacity and strategy building efforts and helping to mobilise international solidarity for their causes. We look forward to another great year of work helping to build stronger movements for diverse, community-based food systems around the world. 

2015 was a prolific year for GRAIN. We produced a large number of high impact research reports and databases that became reference points for many groups and individuals working on land, food, seed and climate-related issues—including many who don't necessarily agree with us. At the same time, we worked with partners on the ground, supporting their capacity and strategy building efforts and helping to mobilise international solidarity for their causes. We look forward to another great year of work helping to build stronger movements for diverse, community-based food systems around the world. 

Mundemba declaration and statement of solidarity: women, communities say NO to oil palm expansion

We are 40 participants who have united in Mundemba, Cameroon, for an international workshop on the tactics and strategies of oil palm companies, from 28 to 31 January 2016. We have gathered to share our experiences from Cameroon, West and Central Africa, Asia and South America, and to understand the realities of the local communities in Ndian Division, Southwest Region of Cameroon. We share the concerns of local communities regarding the growing interest in community land for corporate oil palm plantations.   

We are 40 participants who have united in Mundemba, Cameroon, for an international workshop on the tactics and strategies of oil palm companies, from 28 to 31 January 2016. We have gathered to share our experiences from Cameroon, West and Central Africa, Asia and South America, and to understand the realities of the local communities in Ndian Division, Southwest Region of Cameroon. We share the concerns of local communities regarding the growing interest in community land for corporate oil palm plantations.   

Growing organic produce in China's emerging e-commerce supply chain

Hundreds of greenhouses stretch as far as you can see in Shunyi district, on the outskirts of Beijing. It is winter time and snow is falling heavily but inside the greenhouses you can see rows of tomatoes, eggplants and other types of summer vegetables. These new greenhouses are part of China's strategy for feeding its growing urban population.

Hundreds of greenhouses stretch as far as you can see in Shunyi district, on the outskirts of Beijing. It is winter time and snow is falling heavily but inside the greenhouses you can see rows of tomatoes, eggplants and other types of summer vegetables. These new greenhouses are part of China's strategy for feeding its growing urban population.

Stop the criminalization of environmental and human rights defenders! Free Ethiopian political prisoners!

One year after their arrest on 15 March 2015, three food, land, and human rights defenders continue to languish in an Ethiopian jail. After several court hearings, the prosecution has yet to present any evidence to support the spurious charge of “terrorism” under Ethiopia’s controversial counterterrorism law. A 1 March hearing was once again adjourned and rescheduled for 15 March, due to the failure of witnesses to appear in court. 

One year after their arrest on 15 March 2015, three food, land, and human rights defenders continue to languish in an Ethiopian jail. After several court hearings, the prosecution has yet to present any evidence to support the spurious charge of “terrorism” under Ethiopia’s controversial counterterrorism law. A 1 March hearing was once again adjourned and rescheduled for 15 March, due to the failure of witnesses to appear in court. 

New mega-treaty in the pipeline: what does RCEP mean for farmers’ seeds in Asia?

In February 2016, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial new trade agreement covering 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, was signed in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The result of a US-driven process, the agreement aims to boost trade and investment among a select group of countries—excluding China. The TPP will have a major impact on farmers’ access to and control over seeds. But there is another “mega” trade deal sneaking into Asia: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). In this report, GRAIN looks at what RCEP might mean for farmers’ seeds in the region, in the context of the recently signed TPP.

In February 2016, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial new trade agreement covering 12 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, was signed in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The result of a US-driven process, the agreement aims to boost trade and investment among a select group of countries—excluding China. The TPP will have a major impact on farmers’ access to and control over seeds. But there is another “mega” trade deal sneaking into Asia: the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). In this report, GRAIN looks at what RCEP might mean for farmers’ seeds in the region, in the context of the recently signed TPP.

Open letter to the people of China, President Xi Jin-ping and Premier Li Ke-qiang concerning ChemChina's acquisition of Syngenta

The undersigned representatives of civil society organisations convey our concerns and express our opposition to what would be the biggest acquisition by a Chinese company to date—ChemChina's bid to acquire Syngenta Corporation, the inventor and primary manufacturer of highly hazardous agrochemicals, including atrazine and paraquat.

The undersigned representatives of civil society organisations convey our concerns and express our opposition to what would be the biggest acquisition by a Chinese company to date—ChemChina's bid to acquire Syngenta Corporation, the inventor and primary manufacturer of highly hazardous agrochemicals, including atrazine and paraquat.

Corporate vision of the future of food promoted at the UN

Just when the biotech companies that make transgenic seeds are merging, the corporate vision of biotechnology is showing up at FAO. At today’s opening of the three-day international symposium on agricultural biotechnologies convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, more than 100 organisations have issued a statement denouncing both the substance and structure of the meeting, which appears to be another attempt by multinational agribusiness to redirect the policies of the UN agency toward support for GMOs.

Just when the biotech companies that make transgenic seeds are merging, the corporate vision of biotechnology is showing up at FAO. At today’s opening of the three-day international symposium on agricultural biotechnologies convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, more than 100 organisations have issued a statement denouncing both the substance and structure of the meeting, which appears to be another attempt by multinational agribusiness to redirect the policies of the UN agency toward support for GMOs.

Jail term for activists in Sierra Leone, trial of French journalists in Paris: critics of Bolloré silenced

A day before the start of yet another trial brought by the Bolloré Group against French journalists, organisations denounce the imprisonment on February 5th of six local community leaders affected by the investments of Socfin Agricultural Company Sierra Leone Ltd (SAC), a subsidiary of Socfin, linked to Bolloré.

A day before the start of yet another trial brought by the Bolloré Group against French journalists, organisations denounce the imprisonment on February 5th of six local community leaders affected by the investments of Socfin Agricultural Company Sierra Leone Ltd (SAC), a subsidiary of Socfin, linked to Bolloré.

Food sovereignty can stop climate change and feed us all

The global food system is not only extremely inefficient and environmentally costly; it is also profoundly unjust. But governments look at the problem through a very narrow lens. Figures from the COP 21 negotiations in Paris place the impact of agriculture on climate change at 24%. Our data reveal that they are missing the bigger picture. A GRAIN opinion piece for the Korean International Strategy Centre.

The global food system is not only extremely inefficient and environmentally costly; it is also profoundly unjust. But governments look at the problem through a very narrow lens. Figures from the COP 21 negotiations in Paris place the impact of agriculture on climate change at 24%. Our data reveal that they are missing the bigger picture. A GRAIN opinion piece for the Korean International Strategy Centre.

Seeds in the hands of farmers

In this video, Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN contrasts the approaches to seed conservation that have emerged since the so-called ‘green revolution’. He advocates for on-farm, farmer-led conservation which secures the control of seed in the hands of small farmers.

In this video, Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN contrasts the approaches to seed conservation that have emerged since the so-called ‘green revolution’. He advocates for on-farm, farmer-led conservation which secures the control of seed in the hands of small farmers.

Argentina: New “national” GMOs. Resistance multiplies.

The government of Argentina has announced with great fanfare the introduction of new GMOs allegedly different from the existing ones in three ways: 1) the transgenes do not code for herbicide resistance or production of the Bt toxin; 2) some of them are claimed to promise yield increases, and 3) they have not been developed by corporations but by universities and public research institutes. These, however, are pretexts under which to continue imposing the same agribusiness model on our country.  

The government of Argentina has announced with great fanfare the introduction of new GMOs allegedly different from the existing ones in three ways: 1) the transgenes do not code for herbicide resistance or production of the Bt toxin; 2) some of them are claimed to promise yield increases, and 3) they have not been developed by corporations but by universities and public research institutes. These, however, are pretexts under which to continue imposing the same agribusiness model on our country.  

The secretive trade agreements that could scupper climate change ​action​

While all the focus and hope for tackling climate change is on COP 21 in Paris, starting today, secretive global trade deals are already negating any commitments that might be made at the summit. The texts from the various trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), make it clear that they will increase production, trade and consumption of fossil fuels. An article by GRAIN for the Guardian.

While all the focus and hope for tackling climate change is on COP 21 in Paris, starting today, secretive global trade deals are already negating any commitments that might be made at the summit. The texts from the various trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), make it clear that they will increase production, trade and consumption of fossil fuels. An article by GRAIN for the Guardian.

Food, ag and climate @ COP21

A listing of key programmes of activities on the connections between farming, the food system and climate change during the COP21 in Paris (30 Nov - 11 Dec 2015)

A listing of key programmes of activities on the connections between farming, the food system and climate change during the COP21 in Paris (30 Nov - 11 Dec 2015)

Where the struggles of peasants and forest communities converge

GRAIN is happy to announce the release of the latest issue of the World Rainforest Movement’s monthly bulletin, which, for the first time, has been co-produced with GRAIN. The bulletin focuses on the common struggles of peasant and forest-dependent communities relating to climate change. It brings together several articles showing how corporations are advancing their agendas through false solutions, such as REDD+ or “climate smart” agriculture and forestry, and through trade agreements and certification schemes, such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. The bulletin includes a range of resources and case studies highlighting how communities and social movements are working for real solutions to climate change and building food sovereignty.

GRAIN is happy to announce the release of the latest issue of the World Rainforest Movement’s monthly bulletin, which, for the first time, has been co-produced with GRAIN. The bulletin focuses on the common struggles of peasant and forest-dependent communities relating to climate change. It brings together several articles showing how corporations are advancing their agendas through false solutions, such as REDD+ or “climate smart” agriculture and forestry, and through trade agreements and certification schemes, such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil. The bulletin includes a range of resources and case studies highlighting how communities and social movements are working for real solutions to climate change and building food sovereignty.