IPES-Food briefing on increasing concentration of corporate power in the food system

This 12th edition, hosted at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in collaboration with the Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA), was a remarkable convergence of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Held from October 26th to 28th, it brought together over 100 participants who shared a common vision of a diverse and resilient food system. Participants included farmers, breeders, scientists, civil society organizations, and citizens.

The program was rich and diverse, featuring 15 workshops and plenary sessions covering a wide array of topics, ranging from key issues on policy and legislation, including New Breeding Techniques (NBTs), the critical aspects of Seed Marketing Reform, and Farmers’ Rights, to sessions dedicated to Culinary Breeding and Seed Quality. But the forum went beyond intellectual exchanges and workshops. Following the spirit of EC-LLD to serve as a platform to foster exchange and promote action, it provided ample opportunities for networking, collaboration, and relationship building. Attendees had the chance to connect during social dinners and explore firsthand the practical applications of dynamic seed management through field visits and seeds exchange

IPES Food latest work presents an clear picture of the concentration of power in most segments of the agri-food system, where just a few corporate players dominate markets.

According to the report, there are several mechanisms that keep this trend in place in the food system, including the possibilities that large corporations have to:

  • Gaining ‘market power’ through consolidation
  • Using economic dominance to exercise political power
  • Shaping scientific research and popular discourse through sponsorship and their
  • Shaping trade and investment treaties and agreements

Large corporations have undue influence over global food governance, undermining people’s abilities to engage with food systems on their own terms and eroding their human rights

Recommendation for addressing power imbalances in the food system governance

The report concludes with a series of reccomendations listed in teh figure below

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The report is accessible here