Expo 2015, similarities and divergences. The Mc Donald’s case


We started writing about the vicious link between palm oil and land grabbing back in 2010 (1). Highlighting the hollowness of the commitments made by the clique of big producers, traders and users, who tried to dye the image of the bloody tropical oil (c.d. greenwashing), without any consideration of the impact of land grabs on local communities (2). A late 2010 we launched a petition against the use of palm oil in the food supply chain, Collecting 115,000 signatures in 4 months. And just now, one week before the opening of Expo, the Crocodile tears from its colossal sponsor Mc Donald’s, manifesting new commitments to realize over the next three decades. Inevitable to comment on the situation.

Palm oil and land robbery

Between 2008 and 2014, at least 56 million hectares of land (equal to the size of France) in developing countries of Development have been grabbed by foreign investors (3). At the end of 2014, the international NGO Grain has surveyed 66 macro operations of land robbery in tropical countries exclusively aimed at cultivation mono-intensive oil palm (4). Sub-Saharan Africa-Ethiopia, Uganda, Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea and Guinea Bissau, Togo, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, etc. – has been the epicenter of the most recent predatory instincts, thanks to the instability of local governments and to the consequent ease of acquisitions and clearances of huge tracts of forest land at a cost that is laughable (5).

The voracious demand for palm has also not neglected Southeast Asia. 8 million hectares of habitat natural are ‘palm at risk’ in the Philippines, 5.5 million hectares of land already under foreign rule in Papua New Guinea, 5 million hectares in the hands of 25 major investors in Indonesia (6).

From Southeast Asia to Latin America, palm lust has spread to the Amazon area of Peru, as well as to Honduras and Colombia (7).

Palm oil and deforestation

The report “Corporations, Commodities, and Commitments that Count,” published in March 2015 by the Supply-Change organization (8), attributes at least two-thirds of tropical deforestation to the irresponsible management of forests for speculative agricultural purposes in response to growing demand of palm oil first, soybean and livestock to follow. Everything needed for the first chain of public businesses on the planet, McDonald’s, and its 36,000 fast food restaurants.

All palm oil production on a global scale takes place in countries that were once home to forests Tropical. But the uncontrolled expansion of such crops threatens the environment as well as human rights, continue the Supply-Change researchers, according to which to date only 10 percent of the market is covered by “certified tonnes of palm oil” which, moreover, 69 percent of which is expressed through transactions of credits or certificates (sigh!).

Grain in turn recently denounced the immensity of European imports of”food commodities” whose production comes from land that has been illegally robbed and deforested (9).

Mc NOT lovin’it

The world’s first fast-food chain, with 36,000 eateries in a hundred countries, has been the subject of numerous protests over the past few years. Not only because of low wages and the pace tight work schedules (10) and for its nutritional irresponsibility and use of GMO ingredients without inform consumers (11), but also for the enormous as well as serious socio-environmental impact of its Supply chains. Due to the massive use of beef, whose production requires about 15 thousand liters of water per kilogram of feed, as well as animal welfare concerns and Of the use of growth hormones (12). This includes responsibilities related to robberies of land and deforestation, exacerbated in McDonald’s supply chain by the use of both of palm and soybeans.

In 2006-following a Greenpeace report on deforestation of the Amazon rainforest caused by exterminated soybean crops-the Yankee giant had been forced to make some initial commitments in that direction (13). But commitments made on the palm front, beyond appearance, have turned out to be of the all unsuitable and deficient in the 2014 ‘Global Palm Oil Scoreboard’. Big numbers, little substance (14).

And just these days, under ‘hydraulic pressure’ from NGOs and conscious consumers, Mc Palm has finally resolved to boast new resolutions, postponing to 2030 the discontinuation of its Significant contribution to global deforestation. Without even mentioning, ça va sans dir, the robbery Of the lands (15). But can the planet really endure three more decades of ecocide?

(Dario Dongo)

(1) http://www.ilfattoalimentare.it/nasce-un-nuovo-colonialismo-agricolo-le-potenze-emergenti-rapinano-territori-in-africa-caraibi-e-pacifico.html

(2) http://www.ilfattoalimentare.it/olio-palma-rspo.html, http://www.ilfattoalimentare.it/i-produttori-di-olio-di-palma-sostengono-di-voler-salvare-le-foreste-ma-e-davvero-cosi.html, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23477

(3) http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/publications

(4) http://www.grain.org/article/entries/5031-planet-palm-oil.pdf, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23973, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24423

(5) Africa, between palm, land robbery and environmental (in)sustainability, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24593, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24343,


More information on:

Ethiopia , http://www.ilfattoalimentare.it/land-grabbing.html,

http://www.ilfattoalimentare.it/land-grabbing-catherine-ashton.html, http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/engineering-ethnic-conflict,

– Congo, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/21696, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/22141,

– Uganda, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24785-criticism-of-gar-and-wilmar-african-oil-palm-projects-highlight-global-no-deforestation-challenges, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24606, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24556,

Cameroon, 73 thousand hectares robbed to grow palm by US fund Herakles, at http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/herakles-exposed.

– Nigeria, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24206, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24172

– Gabon, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/21237, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24608,

– Guinea, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23778,

– West Africa. In the 9 countries alone Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte-d’Ivoire, Guinée, Guinée-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo, at least 2.3 million hectares of land robbed between 2000 and 2012, with palm as the first target, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24703-si-les-populations-se-battent-laccaparement-des-terres-sarretera,

– Liberia, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23743, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24785, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24468, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24645,

– Sierra Leone, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24212.

– Sao Tome and Principe, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/21240

(6) Southeast Asia:

Philippines, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24737-caraga-eyed-for-oil-palm-amid-1-m-hectare-target-for-mindanao, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23547,

http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24176, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24679-malaysian-firm-to-develop-1-000-hectare-for-oil-palm, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24385,


– Papua New Guinea and Borneo, http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/our-land-modern-land-grabs-reversing-independence-papua-new-guinea, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23840, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24252.

Stanford University study at http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/21122,

Indonesia, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24725-in-indonesia-local-communities-lose-out-as-oil-palm-expands, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23419, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24644,

http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24562). Video at http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24467.

(7) Latin America:

– Peru, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24762-peru-palma-aceitera-amenaza-devastar-la-amazonia.

Again, at http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24626,

– Honduras, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24312, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/23827,

– Colombia, http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24397,

(8) http://forest-trends.org/releases/uploads/Supply%20Change_Report.pdf

(9) http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/24664-eu-agricultural-imports-linked-to-illegal-deforestation-study-claims

(10) http://www.ibtimes.com/mcdonalds-workers-strike-2015-employees-plan-us-protests-after-publicity-stunt-wage-1867746,


(11) http://johnrobbins.info/resource-center/documentaries/supersize-me/,


(12) https://www.activistfacts.com/organizations/121-foundation-on-economic-trends

(13) http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/McVictory-200706

(14) http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/stop-deforestation/palm-oil-scorecard-company-profiles.html#mcdonalds, http://blog.ucsusa.org/palm-oil-deforestation-and-the-fast-food-industry-would-you-like-a-side-of-forests-with-that-543

(15) http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/22/3649784/mcdonalds-commits-to-deforestation-policy