The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Profiting from Starvation

Apr 25, 2022

The rising price of food is threating millions of people around the world with famine. After two years of rising prices, according to the UN, in the last two months food prices have risen by another 30 to 50% in many of the world’s poorest countries. Especially in countries on the horn of Africa that have already been suffering from years of drought, these price increases threaten many millions of people with outright starvation.

But while millions starve, others are profiting. One family controls the Cargill Corporation, which is among the world’s biggest distributors of grain and other foods. They inherited the company down the generations from its founding in 1865. When food prices go up, this one family reaps enormous profits. For instance, just out of its 2020 profits, Cargill paid out 1.3 billion dollars in dividends, mostly to members of this family. The company’s profits were even higher in 2021—and that was before speculators used the war in Ukraine to push food prices up even more.

All these increasing prices have launched three more of Cargill family heirs onto Bloomberg and Forbes’ lists of the 500 richest people in the world. They join two others from this family already on the list—and that doesn’t even count three other Cargill billionaires who aren’t quite in the world’s top 500. All this makes the Cargill heirs the 11th richest family in the world.