Corporations & trade

GRAIN’s central focus is to support social movements across the world in their resistance to the growing corporate control over food production, markets and trade. We undertake research on how corporations – including agribusiness, large retail and the finance industry – displace millions of small-scale food producers and how trade and investment deals impose the legal conditions for it. Apart from our information work, we also support the efforts of partners and peoples’ movements to improve strategies, cooperation and popular action to challenge corporate power, and build capacity with them to achieve this.


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.

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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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