Memorandum of Demands to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Listed Corporation’s Roles in the Food Crisis in South Africa on the 8th of May 2015
At a historic Food Sovereignty Assembly, from 28th February till 1st March 2015, over 50 organisations representing the hungry, the landless and the exploited of our country – involved in agrarian, water and land transformation, environmental justice, small scale farming, cooperatives, the solidarity economy movement, waste pickers, the unemployed and activists campaigning against increasing food prices – gathered in Johannesburg to plan the initiation of the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign.
We came together at the Assembly through our shared understanding that we have a crisis-ridden corporate and globalised food system that is responsible for worsening social, health and climate challenges, and which is coinciding with increasing state failure in relation to regulating our food regime and ensuring much needed agrarian transformation.
Food corporations are perpetuating hunger through charging prices for food that make them massive profits. With so much food available, hunger is a crime against humanity.
- Our demand: Reduce food prices now!
We reject the above profiteering that allows for exorbitant salaries and benefits for food industry executives and shareholders while millions in this country go hungry, and workers in the factories and shop floors are paid low wages.
- Our demand: Reduce the salaries of all executives and top managers. Instead of paying out excessive dividends to shareholders, increase wages of workers in the food industry.
Corporations promote unhealthy food choices, especially to the poor, in order to boost their bottom line with scant regard for the health effects, the costs of which are instead borne by families and the public health system.
- Our demand: stop advertising unhealthy and ‘junk’ foods, especially to children, and reduce the prices of nutritious foods.
The industrial agricultural methods through which most of the food is produced by agribusiness and food corporations is destructive of the earth, inefficient in water demand, and wasteful. 2
- Our demand: Recognise that we need a new pathway for food production and distribution and that land and agrarian reform is an important part of this solution. Allow for alternative localised food systems to develop based on land and agrarian reform rather than entering and dominating the market, thus pushing out small producers and retailers.
We look forward to your responses to these demands. Please send them to