A research published by Friends of the Earth and other European NGOs reveals the key role of financial institutions in the controversial food commodities business and in land grabbing.

The growing financial investments and speculations in the food business is at the roots of the recent increase of food prices volatility, which lead to higher costs for consumers, threatening food security across the planet and further increasing poverty. Furthermore, as a consequence of high food prices and of the growing demand for agrofuels and raw materials, large-scale acquisitions of farmland in developing countries are rising, with devastating effects on food sovereignty of local communities. This is what is known as land grabbing: land transactions that do not respect the rights of local communities and land-users.

The study, called “Farming Money, how European banks and private finance profit from food speculation and land grabs”, highlights how a long list of EU-based financial institutions are involved both food speculation and land grabbing. Among the most implicated are the Deutsche Bank, Barclays, the Dutch pension fund ABP, the German financial services group Allianz and French banking group BNP Paribas.

After an accurate analysis of the current situation, the report highly recommends a set of measures to regulate EU financial markets and tighten corporate policies on financial services and investments in food commodity derivatives and land deals.

Read the full document here: http://www.foeeurope.org/sites/default/files/publications/Farming_money_FoEE_Jan2012.pdf