Synopses & Reviews
As rural incomes collapse and farming becomes commercialized, swallowed up by the global supply chains of giant food corporations and supermarkets, a desperate situation is emerging in which there could soon be little place left for the hundreds of millions of smallholders across the world. In this clear and intelligent book, Thomas Lines examines the role that global policies have played in creating the crisis of rural poverty. He explains the mechanisms of the markets and supply chains, charting their impact on agricultural trade in the world's poorest countries.
In this clear and intelligent book, Thomas Lines examines the role that global policies have played in creating a crisis of rural poverty. He explains the mechanisms of markets and supply chains, charting their impact on agricultural trade in the world's poorest countries.
A desperate situation is emerging which could soon leave little place for hundreds of millions of smallholders across the world, as the global supply chains of giant food corporations and supermarkets swallow them up. Poor countries have become newly vulnerable to price changes for crops like rice and wheat, and the situation is set to deteriorate further if global policies do not change. The author argues that debates about world trade negotiations have only highlighted part of the problem: we must turn our attention to wider economic policies, the workings of the markets themselves and the division of power along the supply chains, to establish a practical set of solutions. Combining analytical rigour with a clearly accessible examination of the key factors, the author deftly points to the forms that these solutions could take.
About the Author
Thomas Lines is a freelance consultant specializing in international agricultural markets. He started his working life as a journalist reporting on the commodity and financial markets in London and Paris, and later became a lecturer in international business at Edinburgh University. He has worked as a team leader of agricultural aid projects and a policy advisor for U.N. agencies, leading NGOs, fair-trade and trade union organizations.The author has worked in more than 40 countries and speaks fluent French and Russian. He was a candidate for the Green Party in the 2005 general election.
Table of Contents
1. Those who have fallen behind
2. How poverty is made
3. Do the market's job for it
4 Not farming but gambling
5 Getting out of the trap
6. Can we put history behind us?