As well as a civil forum prior to the summit, it looks like Nestlé’s been trying to influence things in a private sector pre-summit meeting.
It’s interesting that Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (CEO of Nestlé) reckons that food price volatility is here to stay because of the amount of speculation. However his plea to curb this speculation sounds more like a request to allow Nestlé to plan financially rather than ease the plight of small producers. Of course, I’m also miffed at the suggestion that I’m a well-fed activist who’s hostile to new technologies… (when in fact I’m with Colin Tudge on this one)
Here is my awkward translation of the civil society forum’s response to Nestlé
Andrea Ferrante, president of the AIAB (Italian Association of Organic Agriculture) responds: Nestlé is one of the principal forces running down agricultural production from peasants, and is therefore one of those responsible for the impossibility that producers from the global south have in marketing their products to local markets. To give an example: the case of milk powder sold by the multinational in developing countries.
Ferrante adds: the food multinational allows itself to insult peasant organisations from around the world that are meeting in Rome over the next few days for the parallel forum of civil society – Peoples Food Sovereignty Now! But in this manner, Nestlé once more demonstrates its total incapacity to understand its own model of production, that contributes to a system responsible for obesity and bad diet, and is also an important part of the cause of climate change, of poverty and of global famine.
Via Campesina have a press release “Transnationals contribute to HUNGER, farmers provide SOLUTIONS”
Interesting coda to Brabeck-Letmathe’s opinion about food speculation. The section on ‘small scale farming in Africa and Asia’ in Bob Orskov’s ‘lessons’ , notes that small farmers cannot take risks and that they cannot tolerate fluctuating prices.