Behind the 'Green Economy': Profiting from environmental and climate crisis

This article examines the real intentions behind the proposals for a "Green Economy". It is the introductory chapter to a Compendium on the Green Economy that was prepared as a common position for RIO+20 and that was published collectively in Spanish by GRAIN, Alianza Biodiversidad, World Rainforest Movement (WRM), and Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC).

This article examines the real intentions behind the proposals for a "Green Economy". It is the introductory chapter to a Compendium on the Green Economy that was prepared as a common position for RIO+20 and that was published collectively in Spanish by GRAIN, Alianza Biodiversidad, World Rainforest Movement (WRM), and Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC).

Responsible farmland investing? Current efforts to regulate land grabs will make things worse

From the World Bank to pension funds, efforts are under way to regulate land grabs through the creation of codes and standards. The idea is to distinguish those land deals that do meet certain criteria and should be approvingly called "investments" from those that don't and can continue to be stigmatised as land "grabs". Up to now, it was mostly international agencies that were trying to do this. Now, the private sector is engaging in a serious way to set its own rules of the game. Either way, the net result is voluntary self-regulation -- which is ineffective, unreliable and no remedy for the fundamental wrongness of these deals. Rather than help financial and corporate elites to "responsibly invest" in farmland, we need them to stop and divest. Only then can the quite different matter of strengthening and supporting small-scale rural producers in their own territories and communities succeed, for the two agendas clash. In this article, GRAIN gives a quick update on what is going on.

From the World Bank to pension funds, efforts are under way to regulate land grabs through the creation of codes and standards. The idea is to distinguish those land deals that do meet certain criteria and should be approvingly called "investments" from those that don't and can continue to be stigmatised as land "grabs". Up to now, it was mostly international agencies that were trying to do this. Now, the private sector is engaging in a serious way to set its own rules of the game. Either way, the net result is voluntary self-regulation -- which is ineffective, unreliable and no remedy for the fundamental wrongness of these deals. Rather than help financial and corporate elites to "responsibly invest" in farmland, we need them to stop and divest. Only then can the quite different matter of strengthening and supporting small-scale rural producers in their own territories and communities succeed, for the two agendas clash. In this article, GRAIN gives a quick update on what is going on.

Who will feed China: agribusiness or its own farmers? Decisions in Beijing echo around the world

China is now the world’s largest global food market. What Chinese people eat has repercussions on everyone, because of the increasingly global reach of how and where that food is produced. When China began importing soybeans as animal feed in the late 1990s to support the growth of its factory farms, it ushered in a dramatic agricultural transformation in both China and Latin America. Now Beijing is moving down the same path with maize, its other major feed crop, and global corporations and Chinese companies are scrambling to develop and control centers of supply for this potentially huge market. The fallout is already being felt around the globe: from rural exodus in China, to farmland grabs in Africa, to food inflation in Shanghai triggered by drought in the US. China can and should reverse course by shifting away from industrial meat production to small scale livestock farming based on local sources of feed.

China is now the world’s largest global food market. What Chinese people eat has repercussions on everyone, because of the increasingly global reach of how and where that food is produced. When China began importing soybeans as animal feed in the late 1990s to support the growth of its factory farms, it ushered in a dramatic agricultural transformation in both China and Latin America. Now Beijing is moving down the same path with maize, its other major feed crop, and global corporations and Chinese companies are scrambling to develop and control centers of supply for this potentially huge market. The fallout is already being felt around the globe: from rural exodus in China, to farmland grabs in Africa, to food inflation in Shanghai triggered by drought in the US. China can and should reverse course by shifting away from industrial meat production to small scale livestock farming based on local sources of feed.

GRAIN external evaluation 2012

Between April and June 2012, GRAIN underwent its latest external evaluation. This evaluation focused on GRAIN's work on land grabbing, over the period 2008-2011. The executive summary and recommendations are now available online.

Between April and June 2012, GRAIN underwent its latest external evaluation. This evaluation focused on GRAIN's work on land grabbing, over the period 2008-2011. The executive summary and recommendations are now available online.

Squeezing Africa dry: behind every land grab is a water grab

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.

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.

Land grabs menace food security in Latin America despite FAO claims

Land grabbing emerged as one of the most important barriers to the advancement of food sovereignty in Latin America & the Caribbean at a recent meeting of social movement organisations. In advance of a United Nations conference in Buenos Aires addressing food security for the region, a new UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report claiming that land grabbing is restricted to only two major countries, drew condemnation from social movements concerned about the scale of the grabs and their the impact on the lives of millions of peasants, people of Afro-communities, indigenous peoples, family farmers, and fisherfolk.

Land grabbing emerged as one of the most important barriers to the advancement of food sovereignty in Latin America & the Caribbean at a recent meeting of social movement organisations. In advance of a United Nations conference in Buenos Aires addressing food security for the region, a new UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report claiming that land grabbing is restricted to only two major countries, drew condemnation from social movements concerned about the scale of the grabs and their the impact on the lives of millions of peasants, people of Afro-communities, indigenous peoples, family farmers, and fisherfolk.

"The great food robbery", a new book from GRAIN

GRAIN is happy to announce its new book "The great food robbery: how corporations control food, grab land and destroy the climate", just published with Fahamu Books and Pambazuka Press. The book looks at the forces driving the world into the food crisis. It focuses on corporations and the ways they organise and control food production and distribution and how this destroys local food systems. It provides information and analysis that will enable and inspire people to take the food system back from corporations and put it in the hands of local communities.

GRAIN is happy to announce its new book "The great food robbery: how corporations control food, grab land and destroy the climate", just published with Fahamu Books and Pambazuka Press. The book looks at the forces driving the world into the food crisis. It focuses on corporations and the ways they organise and control food production and distribution and how this destroys local food systems. It provides information and analysis that will enable and inspire people to take the food system back from corporations and put it in the hands of local communities.

Farmers demand the World Bank and Wall Street stop grabbing their lands at opening of the Bank’s annual conference in Washington, DC.

The World Bank’s policies for land privatisation and concentration have paved the way for corporations from Wall Street to Singapore to take upwards of 80 million hectares of land from rural communities across the world in the past few years, say farmers' movements and their international allies in a collective statement released today at the opening of the World Bank’s Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC.

The World Bank’s policies for land privatisation and concentration have paved the way for corporations from Wall Street to Singapore to take upwards of 80 million hectares of land from rural communities across the world in the past few years, say farmers' movements and their international allies in a collective statement released today at the opening of the World Bank’s Conference on Land and Poverty in Washington DC.

GRAIN releases data set with over 400 global land grabs

GRAIN launches a new data set documenting 416 recent, large-scale land grabs by foreign investors for the production of food crops. The collection of cases cover nearly 35 million hectares of land in 66 countries, providing a stark snapshot of how agribusiness is expanding across the globe and how it is taking food production out of the hands of farmers and local communities.

GRAIN launches a new data set documenting 416 recent, large-scale land grabs by foreign investors for the production of food crops. The collection of cases cover nearly 35 million hectares of land in 66 countries, providing a stark snapshot of how agribusiness is expanding across the globe and how it is taking food production out of the hands of farmers and local communities.

Can India turn the tide on the supermarket tsunami?

India is one of several countries now being hit by what is referred to as a third wave of corporate retail expansion in the global South. Widespread protests led by India's small shopkeepers and retail workers have put a government decision to open up the retail sector to foreign control on hold for now, but corporations like Walmart and Carrefour will not easily give up on such opportunites for growth. The impacts of big retail's growing control over food markets in the South are particularly harsh for peasants, pastoralists and fisherfolk because they are completely shutout of its supply chains.

India is one of several countries now being hit by what is referred to as a third wave of corporate retail expansion in the global South. Widespread protests led by India's small shopkeepers and retail workers have put a government decision to open up the retail sector to foreign control on hold for now, but corporations like Walmart and Carrefour will not easily give up on such opportunites for growth. The impacts of big retail's growing control over food markets in the South are particularly harsh for peasants, pastoralists and fisherfolk because they are completely shutout of its supply chains.

The great milk robbery

A new report by GRAIN documents the importance of milk to the livelihoods and health of the poor in many countries of the global South. Most dairy markets are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from small farmers and pastoralists. But both are under threat from dairy corporations, like Nestlé, and other players, like PepsiCo and Cargill, that are trying to take over the dairy sectors in these countries, 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.

A new report by GRAIN documents the importance of milk to the livelihoods and health of the poor in many countries of the global South. Most dairy markets are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from small farmers and pastoralists. But both are under threat from dairy corporations, like Nestlé, and other players, like PepsiCo and Cargill, that are trying to take over the dairy sectors in these countries, 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 calls for end to land grabbing at Swedish Parliament

On 5 December 2011, GRAIN received the 2011 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’,  at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. GRAIN was awarded “for its worldwide work to protect the livelihoods and rights of farming communities and to expose the massive purchases of farmland in developing countries by foreign financial interests”. GRAIN seized on the opportunity to demand an immediate end to land grabbing and a restitution of lands to local communities. The following speech was delivered to the Swedish Parliament by GRAIN coordinator Henk Hobbelink during the Awards Ceremony.

On 5 December 2011, GRAIN received the 2011 Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’,  at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm. GRAIN was awarded “for its worldwide work to protect the livelihoods and rights of farming communities and to expose the massive purchases of farmland in developing countries by foreign financial interests”. GRAIN seized on the opportunity to demand an immediate end to land grabbing and a restitution of lands to local communities. The following speech was delivered to the Swedish Parliament by GRAIN coordinator Henk Hobbelink during the Awards Ceremony.

Thank you!

...for all the feedback, congratulations and messages of support. On 29 September, it was announced that GRAIN has been selected as one of four recipients of the 2011 Right Livelihood Award, more commonly known as "the alternative Nobel prize".

...for all the feedback, congratulations and messages of support. On 29 September, it was announced that GRAIN has been selected as one of four recipients of the 2011 Right Livelihood Award, more commonly known as "the alternative Nobel prize".

Food and climate change: the forgotten link

Food is a key driver of climate change. How our food gets produced and how it ends up on our tables accounts for around half of all human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. A new food system could be key driver of solutions to climate change. We don’t need carbon markets or techno-fixes. If measures are taken to restructure agriculture and the larger food system around food sovereignty, small scale farming, agro-ecology and local markets, we could cut global emissions in half within a few decades.

Food is a key driver of climate change. How our food gets produced and how it ends up on our tables accounts for around half of all human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. A new food system could be key driver of solutions to climate change. We don’t need carbon markets or techno-fixes. If measures are taken to restructure agriculture and the larger food system around food sovereignty, small scale farming, agro-ecology and local markets, we could cut global emissions in half within a few decades.