The Food Crisis is No Sweat off of Corporate Backs

From the New Internationalist comes an interesting article that begins to reveal an uncomfortable side to the world-wide food crisis - uncomfortable to corporate America at least. Rising costs of food around the globe has led to food shortages and riots, increasing numbers of requests for food aid, and shifts in export policy in efforts to protect various national markets. The media has usually focused on these aspects of the crisis, but there is another side as well. Throughout the crisis, corporations with a hand in the food business have continued to see their profits rise. Here are some specifics from the article:
Cargill, the world’s biggest grain trader, achieved an 86 per cent increase in profits from commodity trading in the first quarter of this year. Bunge, another huge food trader, had a 77 per cent increase last year. ADM, the second largest grain trader in the world, registered a 67 per cent profit hike in 2007.
The profit increase is not limited to the producers either:
Tesco, the UK supermarket giant, rose by a record 11.8 per cent last year. Other major retailers, such as France’s Carrefour and Wal-Mart of the US, say that food sales are the main sector sustaining their profit increases.
Not surprisingly, many of the world's poor are experiencing perhaps the greatest challenges to their survival, while the corporate world continues to reap the profits. The article quoted is itself a summary of a report by titled Against the Grain: Making a Killing from Hunger.

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  1. Anonymous8:31 AM

    it's always helpful to look at all sides of the equation: producers, consumers (or lack thereof) and retailers, in this case. when we do, the "us and them" mentality that pervades so much of life becomes so clear.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. it seems as if the ethics of doing business is non-existent among the world's largest corporations.


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