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The Global Land, Water and Seed Grab: The will and a way to resist.

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Presentation on theme: "The Global Land, Water and Seed Grab: The will and a way to resist."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Global Land, Water and Seed Grab: The will and a way to resist

2 Existing system World grows enough food to feed 9 billion+ people but 1 billion people (of a population of 7 billion) go hungry 1 million+ Australians are food insecure (~5%) In 2012, 14.5% of US households (17.6 million households) were food insecure. statistics.aspx

3 Diabesity Illnesses linked to poor quality food – diabesity Rapidly growing epidemic worldwide – will collapse health systems Affects developing countries too where sufferers tend to be sicker younger More limbs will be lost to diabetes than landmines (Moodie)


5 Water “Water is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world.” Peter Brabeck-Letmathe of Nestle “The one opinion, which I think is extreme, … (declares) water a public right…and the other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value.”

6 Land Grabs Purchase of land by large entities going on worldwide. Not just North/South but going on in Australia and EU too. Land concentration and purchase by foreign and domestic companies that increasingly tied to global commodity chains. See Eurovia report “Land Concentration, Land Grabbing and People’s Struggles in Europe”

7 Financialisation Deregulation has led to massive interference and profits World Development Movement report Broken Markets.61% investment in wheat futures market=financial players Speculative investment in agricultural commodities in 2011 was 20 times the amount spent by all countries on agricultural aid. Goldman Sachs, earned £600m from food speculation in 2009, and Barclays Capitalearned up to £340m in 2010,

8 Patents – new ways to grab GM seeds, changes to laws around seed that require registration and fees to use, loss of traditional saving and swapping networks, Free Trade Agreements used to push this. TPP currently being negotiated. Potential to end sovereignty.

9 New technologies Synbio Vanilla – design an new gene, print it on a DNA printer, genetically engineer it into yeast, put the yeast in vats to create synthetic vanilla called: Evolva. All natural so no labels. Testing, FDA considers it GRAS Could wreck the natural vanilla industry in Madagascar, Indonesia and Mexico and the livelihoods of 200,000 people.

10 Retail concentration ColesWorth Walmart – in 2012 had $444 billion in sales. If it was a country it would have the 26 th largest economy. fiscal-year-2012-wal-mart-registered-approximately-444-billion-in-sales- which-is-20-billion-more-than-austrias-gdp-if-walmart-were-a-country-it- would-be-the-26th-largest-economy-in-the-world-1 Pressure on suppliers, employees Price focused

11 Global traders Equivalent of ColesWorth ABCD= Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus had revenue of $348.7 billion in most recent report. (Financial Times) Ex-CEO of ADM Dwayne Andreas “There is not one grain of anything in the world that is sold in the free market. Not one. The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians.”

12 What’s the future of ag? Orthodoxy Dining boom to take over from the mining boom Export milk, meat, wheat to affluent demographic bulge in Asia Focus on profit, technology and increasing farm size Efficiency, productivity gains, competitiveness

13 Australian Grains Conference 2012 Full of bankers and investment firms Agriculture is the bright future of investment (now the dot coms, share market and sub- prime markets have bust) HighQuest – Clear NE of Brazil for feed market for Asia, threatened if food waste reduced GrainCorp – focused on export. Australia will be fed because of exports

14 How is capitalism and free market agriculture performing? Richest 300 people own more than the poorest 3 billion ( Ozharvest – disabled pensioner in Sydney had $14 a fortnight to live on after rent and utilities 2 of the richest Australians (Forrest+Packer) make $900 million a week Industrial food chain uses 70% of resources to produce 30% of food. Peasant food web uses 30% of resources to produce 70% of world food. ETC report “With Climate Change who will feed us? ”

15 What’s going on? The economic system we have developed has become entirely detached from humanity and planetary limits All economic systems are a ‘story’ that provides a reason to live our daily lives. Money is not physical force it is what we collectively decide it to be

16 Inverted totalitarianism Chris Hedges “a faceless corporate state pays lipservice to democracy but has so corrupted the levers of power as to render the citizen impotent“ Economics trumps politics and people and the environment are exploited until exhaustion and collapse. citizen “The environmental crisis is intimately linked to the economic crisis

17 What’s wrong with our current story? Scarcity is built into the money system. When money is created a corresponding amount of debt is also created. Since the debt is interest bearing, it is always greater than the amount of money in existence. People have to compete with each other for money that can never be sufficient. The only way this system can survive is by growing eternally. This cannot be done on a finite planet and so our economy must find new ways to exploit people, land and culture because it is literally unable to stop. This is why we see the patenting of genes, the privatization of water, coal seam gas mining and increasingly restrictive patents and copyrights. (Eisenstein)

18 Great books Charles Eisenstein – Sacred Economics David Graeber – Debt – the first 5000 years Margaret Atwood – Payback- debt and the shadow side of wealth Silvia Federici – Caliban and the witch Joe Sacco and Chris Hedges – Days of destruction, days of revolt.

19 The will The economic system that we are currently living in is distorting all human behaviour leading to abusive and ecocidal results It forms the basis of our actions as to not conform to it means economic loss and with that comes the loss of social and political power This system cannot be reformed

20 The way Get educated about the existing system as a whole. ‘Success’ in one area is no doubt producing loss elsewhere Mobilize against destruction – GM, free trade agreements, corporate takeovers ie InterGrain and GrainCorp Build a new system – think global, eat local Imagine, experiment, refine, share, enjoy

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