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38 items
  1. Flex Crops: A Primer

    • Jun Borras, Jennifer Franco, S. Ryan Isakson, Les Levidow, Pietje Vervest, Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira, Mindi Schneider, Ben McKay, Sérgio Sauer, Ben Richardson, Roman Herre, Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Juan Liu, Tania Salerno, Yunan Xu, Markus Kröger
    14 May 2018
    Primer

    What is a flex crop, and what does this mean for food, land, climate, and people?

  2. Visit to Brazilian bio-ethanol plant

    EU bioenergy use: the invisible social and environmental harms

    Katie Sandwell, Lyda Fernanda Forero
    08 December 2016
    Article

    The EU's reputation for clean and sustainable energy conceals a dirtier reality, particularly where renewable energy policies and development are driven by corporate interests. Today, nearly two thirds of all “renewable” energy in the EU comes from bio-energy. Although bio-energy appears to provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, there are serious questions about its actual emissions profile, and about environmental and social conflicts which are created or exacerbated by the industrial-scale production of biomass to meet European energy needs.

  3. A bioenergy sorghum crop is harvested near College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo)

    Bioenergy in the EU

    • Bente Hessellund Andersen
    08 December 2016
    Report

    The European Union’s approach to bioenergy is shaped by contradictory policies. Climate concerns are highlighted in public discourse and assure broad public support for renewable energy, including bioenergy. Meanwhile, however, the EU’s corporate growth and trade agenda promotes the use of energy that actually increases the EU’s footprint on land elsewhere, with significant implications for environmental and social justice.

  4. Advocates for sustainable palm oil are ignoring human rights violations in Latin America

    Doug Hertzler
    20 September 2016
    Article

    A false picture of a sustainable industry was painted for investors and other participants, last month at the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) , which ignores the harmful impacts of the aggressive expansion of the palm oil industry on local communities

  5. What makes the reformed Committee on World Food Security potentially attractive?

    Nora McKeon
    22 April 2016
    Multi-media

    The Committee for World Food Security is a privileged observation point to reflect on how global food governance and social mobilization intersect.

  6. Flexibilising global agri-biomass value chains: a techno-market fix for resource burdens?

    • Les Levidow
    04 February 2016
    Paper

    An eco-efficient bioeconomy, combining environmental sustainability and economic advantage, has been promoted to alleviate resource constraints of rising global demand. For political forces resisting environmental degradation and people’s dispossession, several means are necessary to contest this global agenda and counterpose alternatives.

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    The Bioeconomy

    04 November 2015
    Primer

    The bioeconomy is promoted as a response to current global social and environmental crises, with its promise of replacing fossil fuels with ‘renewable’ biological resources. How does it play out on the ground? Who wins and who loses? And what are the alternatives?

  8. The Political Economy of Oil Palm as a Flex Crop

    • Alberto Alonso-Fradejas, Juan Liu, Tania Salerno, Yunan Xu
    19 May 2015
    Paper

    The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of oil palm flexing is heavily influenced by a synthesis of forces and relations within and around the oil palm value web. These dynamics impact the way flexing among oil palm’s different uses is influenced and/or carried out by various powerful actors within the state, the private sector, and civil society.

  9. Political Economy of the Rise of the Contemporary Industrial Tree Plantation Sector in Southern China

    • Yunan Xu
    19 May 2015
    Paper

    Industrial tree plantations (ITP), as a newly emerging sector, is expanding quickly and massively in Southern China, involving foreign corporations (including Finnish and Indonesian) tied to a variety of domestic partners, both state and corporate. In some places, the villagers embrace the land deals, while in others these land deals have provoked conflicts.

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    CP maize contract farming in Shan State, Myanmar: A regional case of a place-based corporate agro-feed system

    • Kevin Woods
    18 May 2015
    Paper

    The Bangkok-based Sino-Thai company Choern Pakard Group (CP Group), Asia's largest and most prominent agro-food/feed corporation, has led an industrial maize contract farming scheme with (ex-)poppy upland smallholders in Shan State, northern Myanmar to supply China’s chicken-feed market. Thailand, as a Middle-Income Country (MIC) and regional powerhouse, has long-tapped China’s phenomenal economic growth and undersupplied consumer demand.

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    Emerging Trends in Global Commodities Markets

    • Carolina Milhorance de Castro
    18 May 2015
    Paper

    Drawing on the wider political economy of global commodities markets, this paper analyses the dynamics of agrarian change related to the rise of emerging economies.

  12. Chinese and Other Foreign Investments in the Brazilian Soybean Complex

    • Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira
    18 May 2015
    Paper

    As Brazil and China become the world’s leading exporter and importer of soybeans respectively, Chinese companies have sought investments in Brazil to wrest greater control over the flows and profits of the international soybean trade from North Atlantic-based transnational companies. While some promote these as positive “South-South cooperation”, many others condemn them as neocolonial “land grabs” that displace peasants, cause environmental degradation, and deindustrialize the Brazilian economy.

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    New ‘Webs of Power’ and Agrarian Transformations in Cambodia: Where are the women?

    • Clara Mi Young Park
    18 May 2015
    Paper

    In February 2012 Economic Land Concessions granted to private companies in Cambodia totalled 2,033,664 ha., and increased to 2,289,490 ha. by June 2013, covering 63 per cent of the country’s arable land. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows to Cambodia grew by 73 per cent from 2011 to 2012. The country, together with Myanmar and Vietnam, is referred to as one of the ‘emerging bright spots of the subregion’.

  14. The Politics of Sugarcane flexing in Brazil and beyond

    • Ben McKay, Sérgio Sauer, Ben Richardson, Roman Herre
    15 September 2014
    Report

    Flex crops, spread over greater expanses of land, are increasingly interlinked through international exchange in food, feed and fuel. Brazilian exports of sugarcane ethanol to the US are in part influenced by the domestic US production of maize ethanol, which in turn is shaped by the price of feed and the soybean supply.

  15. The Politics of Flexing Soybeans in China and Brazil

    • Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira, Mindi Schneider
    15 September 2014
    Report

    The trajectories of soy developments in Brazil and China are related despite moving largely in opposite directions.

  16. Flex trees

    • Markus Kröger
    20 June 2014
    Report

    Flex trees seem to offer timely opportunities for socio-environmentally sustainable solutions, but also present dangers, particularly if such changes accelerate the concentration of land and plantation-based development, whereby forests compete with and may replace food production.

  17. The Politics of Flex crops and Commodities

    • Jennifer Franco, Jun Borras, Pietje Vervest, S. Ryan Isakson, Les Levidow
    20 June 2014
    Report

    Flex crops are crops that can be used for food, feed, fuel or industrial material. Their emergence as critical global commodities is integral to understanding today's agroindustrial economy. 

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    Seeds of discontent

    02 October 2013
    Multi-media

    Watch this trailer for a powerful new documentary about how supposedly well-meaning Dutch and Swedish investments can result in land grabbing and human rights abuses in one small community in Mozambique.

     
  19. The Great Soy Expansion

    • Miguel Urioste F. de C.
    01 September 2013
    Report

    In the last two decades, the best agricultural lands in Bolivia have been put into commercial production by large-scale producers closely linked to foreign investors, particularly Brazilians.

  20. The Sugarcane Industry and the global economic crisis

    • Maria Luisa Mendonça, Fabio T. Pitta, Carlos Vinicius Xavier
    18 July 2013
    Paper

    An examination of ethanol production in Brazil, highlighting the role of financial capital, the territorial expansion of agribusiness and the impacts on labour relations and indigenous peoples and peasant farmers.

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