•Food prices in the Kenya have increased by more than 650 per cent between 2008 and 2022 due to the lack of clear data from food corporations about the food system.
•Four companies in the USA and Europe – Archer-Daniels Midland, Cargill, Bunge and Dreyfus – control 70 to 90 percent of the world’s grain trade
A lobby group is now calling for transparency in food sector trade and operations to limit the exploitation by large corporations.
In its latest report titled Food Injustice 2020-2022 Greenpeace, says that the global food system forces imports on African, when they could be producing and profiting from a higher proportion of their own food.
The report exposes how a small number of wealthy corporations are controlling the food systems in order to ensure they reap vast profits.
On average twenty food multinational corporations gave $53.5 billion (Sh6.8 trillion) to their shareholders in 2020 and 2021, a period dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
“This is the new colonialism. Africa’s governments have allowed the ultra-rich of the US and Europe to retain too much power over Africans and our food system. They constructed a system that would be vulnerable to shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” reads the report.
Food prices in the Kenya have increased by more than 650 per cent between 2008 and 2022 due to the lack of clear data from food corporations about the food system.
Greenpeace Africa’s Communication and Manager, Hellen Dena, says that for Kenya to be cushioned from the high food imports the government must promote sustainable farming methods.
“Ecological farming will ensure that Kenyans have better access to food, it will protect jobs, reduce the emissions that cause extreme weather and protect the biodiversity we depend on,” said Dena.
The report shows that the lack of clear data from food corporations about the food system is a key reason for speculation and rising food prices.
Four companies in the USA and Europe – Archer-Daniels Midland, Cargill, Bunge and Dreyfus – control 70 to 90 percent of the world’s grain trade, but are under no obligation to disclose what they know about global markets, including their own grain stocks.
The report further says shows that this allows companies to withhold information that would help to stabilise prices, were it published with full transparency.
“They want a system which would allow them to profiteer as food prices change, a system in which they can push up those prices,” added Dena.
In its recommendations it says taxation on dividend payouts to wealthy stockholders should be set at much higher rates. Tax on income from dividends should be at least as high as tax on income from wages.
Secondly, we call upon policymakers and governments to adopt measures to curtail the power of the corporations that currently dominate the system.