Major grain traders have drawn concerns over profiteering and speculation in global food markets, prompting calls for a windfall tax.
According to The Guardian , the world’s top four grain traders (Archer-Daniels-Midland, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, known collectively as ABCD) have seen record or near-record profits or sales, and are forecasting demand to outstrip supply until at least 2024 – likely leading to even higher sales and profits over that period. The four companies control between 70% and 90% of global grain trade. Cargill reported a 23% jump in revenues to a record $165bnfor the year ended May 31, while Archer-Daniels-Midland recorded the highest profits in company history during the second quarter of this year. Bunge saw sales spike 17% in Q2, while Louis Dreyfus reported an 80% jump in profits for 2021 vs. the previous year on revenues of $1.62bn, a jump of nearly 25%.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, food prices have spiked over 20% this year – while around 345 million people suffer from acute food insecurity according to the World Food Program, vs. 135 million people before the Covid-19 pandemic. Olivier De Schutter, a co-chair of IPES-Food (the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems) and UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said: “The fact that global commodity giants are making record profits at a time when hunger is rising is clearly unjust, and is a terrible indictment of our food systems. What’s even worse, these companies could have done more to prevent the hunger crisis in the first place.” -The Guardian The rising price of grain has several causes – including the war in Ukraine, one of the largest producers of grain, sunflower oil, maize, and fertilizer. In addition, heatwaves in Europe, North America and India have […]
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