Farm Heroes Vs Monsanto: defeat corporate power in our new game
22 September 2016
In our latest game, Farm Heroes vs Monsanto, you can help a gang of cutsie farm animals take on the global seed and pesticide magnate Monsanto (fittingly represented as the fat cat).
How to play
In this game we invite you to help rid the world of Monsanto’s patented seeds and pesticides. The game works a bit like candy crush. In the first level you have to match sweet looking vegetables next to copyrighted corn to free it from corporate control.
Then you go on to help rid Farm Heroes’s farm of synthetic pesticides and finally Monsanto itself. On level 2 and 3 you will have to match 'Toxis' (the skull-like gas masks below) and 'Dirty money suitcases', which represent Monsanto's corporate power. Throughout the game you'll have the chance to learn more about our campaign and take action to end corporate impunity.
The true story behind Farm Heroes vs Monsanto
This game might weigh quite heavily on the light-hearted spectrum but the subject matter is not so cheery. Farmers across the world are facing debt and dependency. The world faces the irony where 70% of our food is produced by small-scale farmers yet about 50% of these farmers go hungry as the food they produce is sucked up by global food markets and their incomes diminished by the rising cost of inputs. As corporations increase their control over the world’s food system many have to fight to maintain control over their land, seeds and soil.
This battle over the world’s food system is happening in every continent. It’s a war that swaps weapons for seeds and ammunition for compost piles. And it pits millions of organised small-scale farmers against some of the biggest corporations in the world.
On one side we have organisations like La Via Campesina, one of the world’s biggest social movements that represents hundreds of millions of farmers across the world. Many of its farmers practice agroecology, a model of farming that eliminates the need for corporations in the food system and relies on ecological methods to grow crops.
And on the other we have a rapidly amalgamating club of billion dollar corporations that are vying to dominate global food supply, distribution, production and trade. Monsanto is one of these corporations. And now it has merged with the chemical giant Bayer, it presides over the lion’s share of both the world’s seed and pesticide market. And as corporations go it has not got the cleanest or greenest of histories. The company is charged with crimes against humanity and ecocide in an upcoming tribunal ran by an international civil society initiative.
In an effort to combat this track record Monsanto aggressively maintains its influence on the governments of the world by spending millions on lobbying and PR. In its recently launched propaganda campaign, the swish website titled ‘Discover Monsanto’, the company contends that it “works to help farmers grow food in a more sustainable way” and strives to ”help feed our planet while protecting the earth for generations to come”. These assertions are central to the mainstream political idea that multinational food corporations are the key agents in the quest to solve world hunger. An idea so strong that is has mobilised the world’s rich-country governments to spend billions of pounds in aid pushing a model that puts corporations at the heart of food production. Countries across the world are being encouraged to change their policies to make it easier for big businesses to their sell pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and patented seeds. A trickle-down theory of economics for the food system.
Small-scale farmers have a global tide of policies, initiatives and corporate investments to contend against. But the battle isn’t just one way. From organic farmer training schools in Tanzania and anti GMO activists in India to land occupations in Brazil and anti Monsanto camps in Argentina, people are fighting back.
It’s up to us to give them our solidarity. And you can do this - please share the game and start the conversation about the problems with corporate controlled agriculture.