With food riots raging, let’s open the books on the finances of Big Ag
When we talk about the crisis in food prices, we should scrape below the surface to explore who’s actually benefiting from the crisis.
A recent Financial Times displayed this staggering map of the globe: Black dots marked each of the countries were food riots have been sparked in outrage against the rising prices of food. Thirty dots in all. A recent CNN report noted that “Riots, instability spread as food prices skyrocket.” These surging costs, warns World Bank President Robert Zoellick, “could mean ‘seven lost years’ in the fight against worldwide poverty.”
Cargill, one of the world’s largest private companies, noted that these strong earnings are being driven mainly by its commodities division, the booming demand for biofuels, as well as increasing demand in new markets, especially Asia.
Last year, Cargill posted total sales topping $88 billion, and a net profit of $2.34 billion. To put that in context: $2.3 billion is the GDP of Belize.
This post was originally published at the Bite Blog, over at Take a Bite out of Climate Change.