Is It Time To Occupy Cargill?

posted by Rainforest Action Network
Cargill logo jam
As the largest privately-owned corporation in the United States, Cargill is a classic example of too much power in the hands of too few, and a disturbing indicator of how corporate greed literally makes us sick.

[The Occupy movement] is about the corporate takeover of democracy of our lives in every way. The food movement is inherently anti-corporate and it is inherently about rebuilding a real economy… Occupy Wall Street is not just about banking legislation…  It’s all connected.” – Author and activist Naomi Klein

Cargill Inc., a multi-national corporation worth $120+ billion dollars, is privately held almost exclusively by about 100 family members. Seven of these Cargill family members are billionaires. Cargill has done business in a way that has monopolized our food supply and held global citizens and governments alike hostage as they manipulate prices for commodities upon which our very lives depend.

Four Reasons Why Cargill is on Occupy Wall Street protesters’ shit list:

1.    Cargill is the Goldman Sachs of commodities trading,” according to Mark Connelly, an analyst at Credit Agricole Securities USA in New York. “They have real-time insight into dozens of markets and use it to add value in all their businesses.”

The company reported $4.2 billion in record profits in the same fiscal year that world hunger rates, rainforest destruction rates in palm-oil producing countries, and world economic downturns all hit crisis. With a CEO like Greg Page cheerleading deregulation and weakening enforcement of international and domestic oversight agencies, this is the pillage-and-plunder free market he always wanted.

2.    They’re not part of the food chain; they are the chain, says Dan Basse, president of Chicago-based research firm AgResource Co.

Monopolization of food production, processing and distribution has allowed agribusiness giants to push developing governments around, using hoarding and speculation to manipulate prices and punish regulation attempts. Cargill was implicated in the “Tortilla Wars” in Mexico in 2007 for driving up the cost of corn on purpose. So much for “nourishing the world.”

3.    Cargill sidestepped at least $9 billion in taxes in 2010. Reuters’ Lisa Lee reported in January 2011 that the “Cargill Valuation Validates the Wall St. Rules of Thumb” in regards to their spin-off of Mosaic fertilizer company. When the a charitable trust for the late Margaret Cargill (great-granddaughter of the founder) needed cash for her namesake foundation, the company’s financial contortionists manipulated the maneuver to reach $9 billion in “tax savings.”

People before profit
OccupyMN is doing fantastic organizing, right in Cargill's backyard, to expose and stop corporate greed, along with hundreds of other occupations happening around the world.

4.    Cargill manipulates your concern about world hunger to undermine real solutions.
CEO Greg Page encourages executives to intensely lobby government officials for zero regulation on food industry in favor of “free markets” in order to promote “food security.” All the while, Cargill is weakening oversight of food supply chains that incentivizes slave labor, destroys environments, and obliterates localized food systems, endangering public health. Cargill wants to “nourish the world” by bankrupting farmers and selling the world crappy, toxic, spoiled food. The turkey recall was truly just the tip of the iceberg.

So here’s my question to you:

Given that:
a) Cargill’s corporate greed and monopolization of food markets has contributed to/exacerbated our most dire problems (hunger, environmental destruction, climate chaos, worker exploitation, etc.);
b) Cargill has facilities in nearly all 50 states in addition to 62 other countries;
c) And the Occupy/Decolonize movement is rising up to challenge corporate power and end greedy exploitation…

Is it time to Occupy Cargill?