tractor Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Getty Images

A ascensão dos barões alimentares

BERLIM – Há muito que o sector agro-industrial enfrenta críticas, por práticas que contribuem para as alterações climáticas, destruição ambiental, e pobreza rural. Contudo, o sector quase não tomou medidas para melhorar a qualidade e a sustentabilidade, ou para promover a justiça social.

Isto não surpreende. Embora existam mais de 570 milhões de agricultores e sete mil milhões de consumidores em todo o mundo, a cadeia de valor global da agro-indústria é controlada por um mero punhado de empresas, dos campos aos balcões das lojas. Considerando os elevados lucros e o vasto poder político destas empresas, as alterações ao status quo não são do seu interesse.

Além disso, a concentração de mercado no sector agrícola está a crescer, devido à procura acrescida por matérias-primas agrícolas necessárias para a alimentação, para ração de animais, e para produção de energia. O crescimento da classe média nos países do sul foi acompanhado por uma alteração nos hábitos de consumo e alimentares dos seus membros, impulsionando a procura global por alimentos processados, e iniciando uma corrida pelo poder de mercado entre corporações multinacionais do sector agrícola, químico, e alimentar.

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