The Failing Food System

In the latest newsletter from covers the issues of food speculation and rising food prices. Please view the full newsletter here. A short excerpt describing the current food crisis:

Higher Food Prices but Poorer Farmers

Nowadays the whole food system – from production to processing and distribution – is mainly controlled by transnational corporations. Since 2007 these companies such as Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Cargill, Sinochem, Nestlé (to name just a few) have seen increases in their profits. On the contrary, small scale food producers that are not favoured by trade and agricultural policies and that do not have direct access to markets, but sell their products to distributing companies, haven’t seen any concrete benefits from the rising in price of foodstuffs. Often the difference between the price that consumers pay for a product is from four to nine times higher than the price received by producers for the same good.[1] The profit margin remains in the hands of big companies and other private distributors and “middlemen” in between.

It is interesting to note that of the 1.4 billion people who suffer from extreme poverty in the developing countries today, more than 70 per cent live and work in rural areas[2]. In addition to this, it was recorded that the present increases in staple food prices is most acute in rural areas[3]; this means that besides not getting a better price for their products, small scale food producers are the ones who mainly bear the brunt of rising prices.

  1. Example.
  2. Rural Poverty Report 2011, IFAD
  3. Escalating Food Prices, UNICEF, 2011

La Vie Campesina has a solution to this crisis outlined in this article: An Answer to the Global Food Crisis: Peasants and small farmers can feed the world!

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