“Get Big or Get Out”: How Biofuels Programs Prop Up Industrial Agribusiness in the United States

Since the 1970s when U.S. farm policy encouraged farmers to overproduce and “get big or get out”, family farmers have struggled just to survive. They are told that biofuels programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard will help them by increasing both demand for corn and the price farmers are paid. But these biofuels mandates only prop up the industrial agribusiness system. Farmers are not getting the fair prices they need.

This report examines the impact of agribusiness and biofuels programs on family farmers and rural communities in Iowa, which produces more corn than many countries and has a strong family farm history.

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  • Date Published May 2018
  • Number of Pages 4
Burned – Deception, Deforestation and America’s Biodiesel Policy

A trip down a dusty dirt road in northern Argentina provides a picture of the reality of the modern biodiesel industry. On the left-hand side lies a pristine forest, teeming with wildlife: howler monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars. On the right, new soy fields are being carved into pristine forest. Burnt trees and the white ash they leave behind stretch for as far as the eye can see.

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  • Date Published January 9, 2018
  • Number of Pages 16
Land Rights, Palm Oil and Conflict in Guatemala

Indigenous peoples and small-scale farmers in Guatemala, especially women, are facing an ongoing threat to their existence due to loss of their land to agribusiness plantations. Indigenous communities in the municipality of Raxruhá in Alta Verapaz are confronting land grabbing by palm oil companies. The State of Guatemala must recognize community land rights, and governments… read more

  • Date Published September 2017
  • Number of Pages 4
Soybean Plantations: A Threat to Communities in the Cerrado Amazon Transition Zone

Soybean plantations are overtaking much of Brazil’s Cerrado region as large-scale agriculture expands across the globe, driving out indigenous peoples and local communities and driving up land prices. The prospect of soy expansion in the Cerrado has attracted not only Brazilian land grabbers but also international investors.

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  • Date Published September 2017
  • Number of Pages 4
Implementing the Tenure Guidelines for Women and Small-scale Food Producers

This report assesses the legal framework and tenure governance arrangements in Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal, and Haiti, with a concentration on women and small-scale food producers.

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  • Date Published October 8, 2015
  • Number of Pages 61
Bad Neighbors: The Cost of Ethanol Production to Local Communities

U.S. demand for biofuels will account for almost half of global demand by 2025, under targets agreed to by Congress in the Renewable Fuels Standard. Large amounts of food crops will be used to make the fuel to meet these targets. This massive increase in U.S. demand is threatening the food and land rights of some of the world’s poorest people. Read more about the local Brazilian farmers impacted and ActionAid USA’s policy recommendations.

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  • Date Published July 20, 2016
  • Number of Pages 4