The overall objective of GRAIN's programme is to deepen public understanding of the forces shaping the global and local food systems and their impact on farming and food security, and to support social movements and civil society organisations in advancing towards food sovereignty.
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.
While land grabbing has been going on since ages, today's massive assault on fertile farmland by investors, speculators and food and biofuel corporations is something big and new. Over the past ten years, ever since GRAIN first exposed the issue and put it on the global agenda, land grabbing has become one of our most active areas of work. GRAIN's contribution takes the form of research, information and outreach work. We also support the struggles of different civil society organisations against corporate land deals, especially in Asia and Africa. We do so mainly through capacity building, strategy development and alliance building together with partners that aim to turn the tide.
The 'seeds issue' was what got GRAIN started almost 30 years ago, and it is still a central area of work for us. The biodiversity in farmers' fields is eroding at alarming rates, while the corporate seed sector is reaching unprecedented levels of control through the push for hybrids, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and concentration. Across the world, governments are promoting or allowing restrictive seed and intellectual property laws that grant exclusive power to the corporate sector while limiting the possibilities of small farmers to save, exchange and further develop their own varieties. But equally all over the world, social movements are sprouting up and growing to challenge these developments and establish networks to conserve and use local materials. This programme area allows GRAIN to be part of this movement and contribute with research and information work, as well as capacity and movement building support.
The climate crisis and the food crisis are intimately linked, with the industrial food system - from farm to supermarket - largely responsible for both. Under this programme area, GRAIN draws attention to the responsibility of industrial agriculture and centralised supply chains in causing the climate crisis, and how food sovereignty and peasant-led agroecology offer a tremendous potential to solve a good part of it. We do so through sustained information and outreach activities, and through active strategy development and coalition building with the social movements involved.