Walmart Wants Farmers to Farm By THEIR Principles

This week, Walmart executives descended on Iowa to push their “sustainable agriculture” program which pledges to double the sales of locally grown food by 2015 and to ensure that the food it sells is produced in sustainable ways. Read Walmart wants Iowans to farm by its principles, which opens with:

Never mind the government regulators. When it comes to influencing the way farmers grow their crops, the real power someday may be Walmart, the nation’s largest food retailer.

When the world’s largest retailer joins with companies like Monsanto, Cargill, Syngenta, Tyson, and Unilever, the words “locally grown” and “sustainable agriculture” we begin to look for their motives. Underneath it we see the potential for:

  • consolidation of farming in the hands of “Big Ag” and the removal of small farmers from the land
  • direct and indirect influence of laws, policies, and administrative rules
  • price and margin pressure that could put small and medium-sized farm operations out of business

Corporations should not be allowed to formulate public policy. The drafting of rules of sustainability and their implementation should be under the auspices of government, not the prerogative of corporations under the guise of “local food sourcing” and “sustainable farming.”

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