Over the past 10 years, the World Banks, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has pumped $1.8 billion dollars into factory farming across the world.
Of the 1.8 billion, $686 million went to dairy companies, $563 million for pork and $353 million for poultry production. While the IFC investments are generating jobs in third world countries, the major profit share is falling into the hands of large multinational corporations with plans to ramp up industrial-scale animal farming.
The IFC investments and loans are supposed to fund development in some of the worlds poorest countries, stimulating job growth and reducing poverty. However, I do question their commitment to their mission after reading that the IFC's largest investment into the livestock industry was $150 million contribution to Dutch conglomerate to take a controlling share in a Pakistani dairy producer. With no third party regulatory body, many other livestock investments were made in middle and upper-middle income countries with only 3 investments being directed into low-income countries - Uganda, Madagascar, Ethopia.
I cant help but question if that by helping large corporations consolidate control over food supply chains, the IFC is advocating an unsustainable model that contributes to climate change, hurts smaller producers and promotes animal cruelty?
The industralised food revolution is one of the leading contributors to climate change and is responsible for 15.4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To put that into perspective, the entire global transportation sector emits 14% - that means that factory farming is emitting more damaging greenhouse gasses to our planet than all road, rail, air and marine transportation. No matter how you cut it, raising, feeding, and then killing billions of animals is an inefficient and resource-intensive way to feed our growing global population. Instead of investing in small scale, sustainable and diverse farming practices, the IFC is creating a hostile environment where a few big players are pulling the strings for the worlds food sources. Generating more economic inequality, increased pollution and continued animal suffering.
While as individuals its easy to feel helpless, hope is not lost. Join activist Jane Goodall in demanding that the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) divest from factory farming, and put that money towards more sustainable and compassionate animal farming systems.