US food aid programme criticised as ‘corporate welfare’ for grain giants
Two-thirds of food for the billion-dollar US food aid programme last year was bought from just three US-based multinationals.
The main beneficiaries of the programme, billed as aid to the world’s poorest countries, were the highly profitable and politically powerful companies that dominate the global grain trade: ADM, Cargill and Bunge.
The Guardian has analysed and collated for the first time details of hundreds of food aid contracts awarded by the US department of agriculture (USDA) in 2010-11 to show where the money goes.
ADM, incorporated in the tax haven state of Delaware, won nearly half by volume of all the contracts to supply food for aid and was paid nearly $300m (£190m) by the US government for it. Cargill, in most years the world largest private company and still majority owned by the Cargill family, was paid $96m for food aid and was the second-largest supplier, with 16% of the contracted volume. Bunge, the US-headquartered global grain trader incorporated in the tax haven of Bermuda, comes third in the list by volume, and was paid $75m to supply food aid.
Together, these three agribusinesses sold the US government 1.2m tonnes of food, or almost 70% of the total bought.
via The Guardian