Social and environmental impacts of sugarcane production in Brazil

18 November 2011
Carlos Vinicius Xavier, Fábio T. Pitta and Maria Luisa Mendonça
image[node-id]

In this publication, data and recent analyses will be presented on the expansion of sugar cane monoculture for ethanol production in Brazil, and in particular on the monopolisation in the sector due to mergers and the takeover of production plants by foreign companies

This study is focused specifically on the merger of the Brazilian company Cosan with the Dutch oil company Shell, which resulted in the formation of Raízen. Some of the central elements in our analysis concern the economical, social and environmental effects caused by the spread of the agricultural model based on monoculture and large land ownership.

In addition to the supposed environmental benefits deriving from the replacement of fossil fuels, the official line about the benefits of this growth includes the prospect of access to the external markets and energy security in times of crisis. With preferential access to loans and several forms of state subsidy, 45% of ethanol worldwide is produced in Brazil. Of all firms running the 435 production plants in Brazil, Raizen, the company formed in the merger between Cosan and Shell, is the largest producer.

 

November 2011
In: Social and environmental impacts of sugarcane production in Brazil

Recent publications from Agrarian Justice

Policy Shift

'Policy Shift' answers the call for a paradigm shift in favour of investment in agricultural alternatives by identifying a set of ten key policy changes that are required to support and promote positive alternative investments. The approach adopted is both a normative one informed by prevailing human rights norms and an empirical one informed by practical, on-the-ground examples of positive agricultural investments.

Day of Dialogue on Knowledge for Food Sovereignty

On January 24 more than 300 academics and activists from around the world came together at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague for the Colloquium Food Sovereignty: A Critical Dialogue. The meeting was a follow up to the conference of the same name held at Yale University in September of 2013.

The Transnational Institute at Voedsel Anders

TNI was there, when Wageningen University witnessed the dynamism of the modern food movement, at a two day conference that shared views on farming, research, advocacy and activism, and a commitment to transforming our food and agriculture systems

No fracking way

A briefing that explores how a trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US and the EU could open the way to multi-billion euro lawsuits from companies wanting to expand “fracking” for shale gas and oil.