Due to a lack of transparent information from food firms regarding the food system, food prices in Kenya soared by more than 650% from 2008 to 2022.
As a result, a lobby group is now calling for transparency in food sector trade and operations to limit the exploitation by large corporations. According to its most recent study, Food Injustice 2020–2022, Greenpeace noted that the global food system pushes African countries to import food when they might instead produce and benefit from a more significant amount of their food.
The research reveals how a select group of powerful businesses control the food chain and guarantee enormous profits.
During the Covid-19 epidemic and the Ukrainian War, twenty food multinational firms donated $53.5 billion (Sh6.8 trillion) on average to their stockholders between 2020 and 2021.
An extract from the report reads, “this is the new colonialism. Africa’s governments have allowed the ultra-rich of the US and Europe to retain too much power over Africans and our food system. They constructed a system that would be vulnerable to shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.”
According to Hellen Dena, Communication and Manager for Greenpeace Africa, Kenya must support sustainable farming practices if it is to be protected from high food imports.
“Ecological farming will ensure that Kenyans have better access to food, it will protect jobs, reduce the emissions that cause extreme weather, and protect the biodiversity we depend on,” Hellen Dena relayed.
The study shows that one of the main causes of speculation and rising food costs is the absence of precise information from food firms regarding the food system. Four American and European businesses, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill, Bunge, and Dreyfus, control between 70% and 90%of the world’s grain trade, although they are not required to reveal any information about the international markets, including their grain holdings.
“They want a system which would allow them to profiteer as food prices change, a system in which they can push up those prices,” Hellen Dana added.