Barclays Bank has been adjudged the world’s worst company at the Public Eye ‘shame award’ for speculating on food prices as a result of which about 44 million people worldwide were pushed into extreme poverty in the second half of 2010.
The award, organised by Greenpeace and the Berne Declaration (BD), was held January 27, 2012 on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos.
Barclays’ activity is fuelling hunger and poverty worldwide, says the World Development Movement, which nominated the bank for the shame award.
“Barclays is gambling with the price of food, and therefore with people’s lives. Speculation benefits a tiny minority in the financial sector, and at the same time fuels food price spikes which force millions of people to go hungry. Governments must take urgent action to curb this reckless practice,” Amy Horton, campaigner at the World Development Movement, said on its website.
It is estimated that the bank is making up to £340 million a year from speculating on food ‘futures’ markets.
Brazilian construction giant Vale also won the People’s Award for its involvement in the construction of the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon in which 40,000 people are likely to be forced from their land if the dam goes ahead.
The awards are organised each year to shame global firms whose activities are seen as irresponsible.
By Ekow Quandzie