More than half of the farmland in the United States is expected to change hands in the next 10-15 years, and TIAA and other pension fund managers are major players, wielding incredible economic power,
The Constitution gives states the authority to oversee land transactions, so it is difficult to get a true feel at the federal level for how much agricultural land is owned by non-U.S. corporations or citizens.
It is especially noteworthy to us that TIAA’s illustration depicts the organizations working most closely with local communities, whose members are
most directly impacted by its land acquisitions, as being of least concern for their engagement. Governments should guarantee legitimate tenure rights in line with the Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGTs) agreed upon by the UN member states in the Committee on World Food Security, and TIAA should not undermine land rights or human rights as defined in the Guidelines.
As a group with national and global focus, it is our goal to learn what we can in order to prevent more State pension investment committees and other actors from investing in corporate farmland.
A national conversation about large-scale land investments by corporations and the ramifications for independent producers and workers who put food on our tables is long overdue.
A new report details how Harvard University and U.S.-based pension fund TIAA are involved in forest firest burning in a key ecosystem — the Brazilian savannah (Cerrado).