Home » Uncategorized » Denounce corporate greenwashing & co-optation – Nourish food systems for peoples & planet

Denounce corporate greenwashing & co-optation – Nourish food systems for peoples & planet

On the 6th and 7th of September, the agri-food industry is repeating last year’s so-called “Regenerative Agriculture & Food Systems Summit“. At a critical time of climate chaos, environmental degradation and malnutrition crises, we, social movements, civil society organizations, academics, farmers and engaged citizens, once again denounce this Summit’s attempt to greenwash participating corporations’ devastating ecocidal and neocolonial practices.

The Summit programme is focussed on the corporate greenwashing of regenerative agriculture. The term “regenerative agriculture” is abused to give intensive-industrial farming a green image. Corporate actors are doing this so they can push organic, agroecological and grassroots regenerative farming out of government policies and the market, in favor of their continued degenerative practices.

The Summit contains no recognition or direct participiation of the indigenous, black and peasant origins and leadership of grassroots regenerative agriculture, a movement that uses organic and agroecological farming practices. Attendance is priced at €299 for farmers and academics and €1090 for NGOs. Black, indigenous, peasant and Majority World farmers and food workers are leading the fight for agroecological and organic regenerative agriculture. Announced Summit speakers, however, are almost exclusively white and employed by some of the most environmentally and socially destructive actors in the agribusiness sector.

These agribusinesses are fuelling human rights violations, structural poverty, unhealthy diets, and destructive agricultural methods while co-opting the language of regenerative agriculture.The participating agri-food corporations are at the root of our interconnected crises of health, ecology and climate and cannot be trusted to lead system change with their false solutions.

Summit sponsor and partner Cargill is guilty of child labor, environmental pollution and the destruction of the world’s last remaining intact forests and prairies.

Summit sponsor and partner Nestlé continually breaks promises to end child trafficking and labour exploitation in their cacao chains. Agrochemical cacao plantations such as Nestlé’s caused 85% of the Ivory Coast’s forest cover to be lost.

Summit speaker Rabobank finances 85% of Dutch industrial agriculture and is involved in land grabbing, drug cartel money laundering and the industrial livestock farm expansion that has produced the Dutch nitrogen crisis, mass farmer indebtedness, deforestation and dramatic biodiversity loss. 

Summit partner Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) services numerous agrifood-industry multinationals that systematically undermine real sustainable agricultural development and social justice in the name of corporate greed.

SAI Platform partner Unilever relentlessly exploits farmers and food workers within their extractive global supply chains and intrudes public universities such as Wageningen.

SAI Platform partner Yara is outrageously profiting from the war in Ukraine as it continues to expand a global synthetic fertilizer addiction that requires the burning of hundredths of thousands of tons of fracked gas to be produced.

SAI Platform partners Bayer and Syngenta trap farmers in increased reliance on synthethic fertilisers, pesticides, patented seeds and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that threaten biodiversity, pest resistance, human health and soil, air and water quality. Their lobby machinery continuously undermines environmental policy and science-based decision-making processes.

We stand for regeneration of the planet and people power and call out fossil-fuel-addicted corporations that sustain exploitative and destructive industrial agriculture. Governments have failed to protect us from the promotion of capital-intensive proprietary agro-technological development. Consequently, powerful corporate actors control global value chains and are deeply entrenched in food governance at the cost of civil democratic participation and local control over food, nutrition and agricultural decision-making.

This is why we continue to take inspiration from the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples Mechanism (CSIPM), who boycotted the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and organised an Autonomous Peoples’ Response and global counter-mobilization. Last year we protested the Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems Summit and hosted a nourishing counter-event. This year we will continue our tradition of building resistance and community resilience against greenwashing through sustainable foodways, educational art and talks and rich conversations. This year we will come back even stronger and we invite you to join! 

Stand in solidarity!

  • Click here to become a signatory to this letter and share the statement widely. The statement and its signatories will be made public. 
  • Resist the Summit through non-violent direct actions and come talk to Summit participants on 6 and 7 september. ​​​​​​​To get involved, please send an email to counter.lagoon@gmail.com.
  • Join our conversation ​​​​​​​on how to resist corporate abuses and how to regenerate soils and societies to transform an alternative food future that nourishes all peoples and planet at the Regeneration Festival on 10 september 10:00 – 17:00 at de Tolhuistuin (Amsterdam, IJpromenade 2). 

Read more:
Article “Regenerative agriculture was a good idea, until corporations got hold of it” by GRAIN

Photo from our workshop at the Regeneration Festival.

Resistance is Fertile!