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21 May 2014

"Carving up a continent" report by WDM, and company responses

In April 2014, World Development Movement released a report, Carving up a continent: How the UK government is facilitating the corporate takeover of African food systems [PDF].  The report states:

"The UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) is channelling £600 million of aid money through the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition... [This and other] initiatives claim to support improvements to agriculture and food security in Africa, but are in fact geared towards helping multinational companies to access resources and bringing about policy changes to facilitate those companies’ expansion in Africa.  The African countries being targeted by the New Alliance are not those with the highest levels of hunger or poverty, but those with the best access to export markets and the highest levels of economic growth.  This report provides evidence that while multinational corporations are set to benefit from increased access to and control of agriculture in Africa, this is coming at the expense of small-scale African food producers... Instead of providing a solution to hunger, the pro-corporate approach of initiatives like the New Alliance is likely to exacerbate hunger and poverty through increased land-grabbing, insecure and poorly paid jobs, the privatisation of seed and a focus on producing for export markets rather than to feed local populations... Companies taking over land sometimes promise to create jobs for the people they have dispossessed, but jobs that materialise are often insecure and poorly paid.  Jobs are also more likely to benefit men rather than women."

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Diageo, Monsanto, SABMiller and Unilever to respond to the report:

Diageo did not respond

Monsanto response [DOC] - 20 May 2014

SABMiller response [PDF] - 19 May 2014

Unilever response [PDF] - 20 May 2014