by Chris Black
Food is a financial commodity first, and life sustaining nourishment second.
In the modern finance-driven-capitalist system, the neoliberal system, agricultural land and food itself have become financial commodities which are traded by banks and hedge funds such as Goldman Sachs (www.gsam.com/content/gsam/us/en/advisors/fund-center/fund-finder/gs-commodity-strategy-fund.html) and Blackrock (www.blackrock.com/us/individual/products/227418/blackrock-commodity-strategies-inst-class-fund).
In Europe pension funds (archive.ph/OgrFW) invest billions of Euros of retiree’s money into the agriculture market which results in increased prices (ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/foodstudies/chapter/financialization-of-food/) for food and agricultural products.
These very price increases, which the pension funds profit from, then affect the pensioners who are invariably told the fund simply “cannot afford” to increase their benefits.
The financialisation of the agriculture and food commodities markets has already contributed to one major crisis, the 2008 food price crisis (unctad.org/system/files/official-document/gdsmdpg2420093_en.pdf), which saw investors hold onto billions of tonnes of agricultural products as they watched prices increase and their profits shoot through the roof.
Speculative capital ran riot with the global food supply.
The food we eat, particularly here in the West and in the developing world, is held hostage by rapacious, often Jewish, middlemen who chase profit for themselves at the expense of both farmer and the population.
Middlemen more concerned with “shareholder value” than with an agricultural sector focused on feeding the nation and providing income for family and medium sized farmers.
The middleman must be cut out, financialisation must be brought under control and the exchanges, which have existed for hundreds of years, restored to their core function which is to ensure profits for farmers, stable prices, and food on the shelves for the population.