Food First's Eric Holt-Gimenez on the latest corporate crusade
Posted: February 7, 2011
Seventeen agrifood monopolies (ADM, BASF, Bunge, Cargill, The Coca-Cola Company, DuPont, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Metro, Monsanto Company, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SABMiller, Syngenta, Unilever, Wal-Mart Stores and Yara International) rolled out a new report financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation entitled "Realizing a New Vision for Agriculture."
The monopolies propose "mobilizing the private sector through market-based solutions... to empower farmers and entrepreneurs to reach their full potential." The report invites governments and civil society to join them in decreasing the portion of rural inhabitants living on less than $1.25 a day by 20% over each of the next two decades. (This admirable goal is considerably less ambitious than the Millennium Development goal of halving, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day by 2015).
A companion report (also financed by Bill Gates) announces the Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger (BAACH), an offshoot of the Davos group called the Global Agenda Council on Food Security. BAACH calls for business-led solutions to global hunger by expanding markets in agricultural inputs, retail outlets, and sourcing and production of high-value crops.