Stop agri-food mega-mergers!
You don't have to be Einstein to realize that mega-mergers only benefit the pockets of the big corporate players and not the likes of you or me. It is pretty obvious that when competition decreases, prices will increase. And with that we will have less choice and most likely lower quality. No good can come by handing control to a few money-hungry, power-obsessed multi-billion-dollar-companies, who only care about profits and not about our wellbeing or the welfare of our planet.
And yet, we find ourselves surrounded by mega-mergers. Along with the controversial Bayer-Monsanto merger there is the merger between US chemical giants Dow and DuPont, ChemChina's aquisition of Syngenta and planned merger with Sinochem in 2018 and the Heinz & Kraft Foods merger - just to name a few. It just goes to show that money truly rules the world. Those industry giants have money to burn and are obviously not afraid to buy the very people who are meant to protect us.
A new report released by IPES-Food (International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems) in October this year sounds the alarm on mega mergers and calls for urgent review.
IPES-Food is a transdisciplinary initiative working to inform the policy debate on food systems reform through evidence-based research and direct engagement with policy processes around the world.
In a letter to the European Commission, the expert panel called for the imminent merger between Bayer and Monsanto to be urgently scrutinized. Pat Mooney, lead author of the IPES-Food report, said: “We are now in unchartered territory. If the deals on the table go ahead, three firms will control more than 60% of global seed and pesticide markets."
Olivier De Schutter, IPES-Food co-chair and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, said: “Rampant consolidation in the agri-food industry is bad for farmers, whose incomes are squeezed at one end by a handful of input providers, and at the other by processing and retail giants with huge bargaining power. It is also bad for society. Once they have cornered the market, mega-firms focus on defending their market share and shaping policies to fit their needs – not on delivering the innovation we need to build sustainable food systems.”
What can you do to help?
- Speak up! The more people are aware of what's happening, the better it is.
- Avoid buying their products.
- Buy from small, local farmers.
- Sign the petition to stop the Monsanto/Bayer merger. Click on this link: