Baines, ‘Food Price Inflation as Redistribution: Towards a New Analysis of Corporate Power in the World Food System’
April 1, 2013
This paper outlines the contours of a new research agenda for the analysis of food price crises. By weaving together a detailed quantitative examination of changes in corporate profit shares with a qualitative appraisal of the restructuring in business control over the organisation of society and nature, the paper points to the rapid ascendance of a new power configuration in the global political economy of food: the Agro-Trader nexus. The agribusiness and grain trader firms that belong to the Agro-Trader nexus have not been mere ‘price takers’, instead they have actively contributed to the inflationary restructuring of the world food system by championing and facilitating the rapid expansion of the first-generation biofuels sector. As a key driver of agricultural commodity price rises, the biofuels boom has raised the Agro-Trader nexus’s differential profits and it has at the same time deepened global hunger. These findings suggest that food price inflation is a mechanism of redistribution.
Food Price Inflation as Redistribution: Towards a New Analysis of Corporate Power in the World Food System (Preprint)
Baines, Joseph. (2013). New Political Economy. April. pp. 1-34.