Multinational Agrichemical Corporations and the Great Food Transformation
In July 2022, the Canadian government announced its intention to reduce “emissions from the application of fertilizers by 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030.” In the previous month, the government of the Netherlands publicly stated that it would implement measures designed to lower “nitrogen pollution some areas by up to 70 percent by 2030,” in order to meet the stipulations of the European “Green Deal,” which aims to “make the EU’s climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.”
In response, Dutch “farm and agriculture organizations said the targets were not realistic and called for a protest,” which led farmers and their supporters to rise up across the country. The artificially designed Green Deal is one of the goals of Agenda 2030, which was adopted by 193 member states of the United Nations (UN) in 2015.
In addition to the UN, Agenda 2030 is also supported by a number of other international organizations and institutions, including the European Union, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the Bretton Woods Institutions, which consist of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is also endorsed by some of the most powerful agrichemical multinational corporations in the world, such as BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont, and Syngenta, which, together, control more than 75 percent of the global market for farm inputs. In recent years, “the acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina, and the merger of Bayer and Monsanto” have “reshaped the global seed industry.” Additionally, “DuPont de Nemours was formed by the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont in 2017.” However, “within 18 months of the merger the company was split into three publicly traded companies with focuses on the following: agriculture with Corteva, materials science with Dow and specialty products with DuPont.”
In recent years, all of these corporations have issued statements suggesting that the agriculture sector will undergo major changes over the upcoming three decades, and that they are committed to doing their parts to accelerate the transition to so called green policies. Accordingly, they advocate for governments to redirect public finance away from conventional farming and toward regenerative agriculture and alternative protein sources, including insect farming and lab-grown meats.
Moreover, BASF, Syngenta and Bayer are members of “the European Carbon Farming Coalition,” which includes a number of “organizations and stakeholders along the food value chain,” such as “COPA-COGECA, Crop In, European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF), European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Food, HERO, Planet Labs,” “Swiss Re, University of Glasgow, Yara, Zurich and the World Economic Forum.” Originally, this “coalition emerged as a partnership between the World Economic Forum’s 100 Million Farmers platform and its CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal.”
Its objective is to “decarbonise the European food system” by accelerating the transformation of farming and agricultural practices. More specifically, the European Carbon Farming Coalition seeks to attain “zero gross expansion in the area of land under cultivation for food production by 2025, reduction in total territories used for livestock of about one-third by 2030, and a consequent freeing up of nearly 500 million hectares of land for natural ecosystem restoration by the same date.” According to the WEF, in addition to benefitting the environment, such changes will also be economically advantageous, as “changing the way we produce and consume food could create USD 4.5 trillion a year in new business opportunities.”
Article from Mises Wire