Reports

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.

When we think of the big drivers of climate change, cars and air travel often come to mind. But transformations over the past century in the way food is produced and consumed have resulted in more greenhouse gas emissions than those from transportation. The biggest culprits? Industrial meat and dairy.

The most widely cited official estimate holds that the food system is responsible for up to 30 per cent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Some of these emissions are due to the growth of packaged and frozen foods, the increased distance foods are shipped and the rise in food waste. But the most important source of food system-related GHG emissions is the escalation of meat and dairy consumption—made possible by the expansion of industrial livestock and chemical-intensive feed crops. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says meat production alone now generates more GHG emissions than all the world’s transport combined.

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Some of the world's largest food companies are rolling out a programme called Grow, promising to apply “market-based solutions” to poverty, food insecurity and climate change. Under a logic of public-private partnership, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Monsanto and other companies are fostering close ties with governments in order to increase their control over markets and supply chains.

While claiming to promote food security and benefit small farmers, Grow's focus on a few high-value commodities (potatoes, maize, coffee, palm oil, etc.) exposes the programme’s real objective: to expand the production of a handful of products to profit a handful of corporations. The impacts on communities, biodiversity, nutrition and the climate are potentially disastrous.

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Land conflicts and shady finances plague DR Congo palm oil company backed by development funds

RIAO-RDC, AEFJN, Entraide et Fraternité, GRAIN, SOS Faim, UMOYA, urgewald, War on Want and WRM | 02 November 2016 | Reports, land, corporations & trade

European and US development funds are bankrolling palm oil company Feronia Inc despite land and labour conflicts at its plantations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). New information now raises questions as to whether the Canadian-based company misused millions of taxpayer dollars destined for international aid by way of companies connected to a high-level DRC politician.

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Foreign pension funds and land grabbing in Brazil

Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, GRAIN, Inter Pares, and Solidarity Sweden – Latin America. | 16 November 2015 | Reports, land

A New York company managing the retirement savings of workers in Sweden, the US and Canada is evading Brazilian laws on foreign investment to acquire farmlands from a businessman accused of violently displacing local communities

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How did several of the world's most prominent DFIs come to own Feronia Inc., a Canadian agribusiness company that people in the DRC say is illegally occupying their land, subjecting them to horrific work in plantations and leaving their communities destitute?

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The land grabbers of the Nacala Corridor

UNAC | GRAIN | 19 February 2015 | Reports, land

A new report by Mozambique's National Farmers' Union (UNAC) and GRAIN shows there is a colonial-style scramble for Africa's farm lands under way. Politically-connected companies based in offshore tax havens have grabbed hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland from peasants in Mozambique.

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During twenty workshops, five pre-hearings, a final hearing and a complementary hearing of the Permanent People's Tribunal in Mexico, various communities and organisations exposed the vast and systematic character of the attack against the peasantry and independent food production.

The purpose of this text is to present the Mexican case as a mirror in which other countries may see the first hand effects of the subordination implicit in free trade agreements.

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The lobby to industrialise food production in Africa is changing seed and land laws across the continent to serve agribusiness corporations. The end goal is to turn what has long been held as a commons into a marketable commodity that the private sector can control and extract profit from at the expense of small holder farmers and communities.

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Feeding the one percent

GRAIN | 07 October 2014 | Reports

An IT billionaire's foray into agribusiness paints a disturbing picture of today's farmland financiers.

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Planet palm oil

GRAIN | 22 September 2014 | Reports, Planet palm oil

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.

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