We’ve come a long way…

I love food. So I remember being really excited in late 2009 when I heard that WDM was planning a campaign on food. At the time I didn’t work for WDM, but was a member of the South West London group.

Six months or so later, the campaign launched with a bang as our first report, The Great Hunger Lottery, was published the day after the infamous ‘choc finger’ incident, with which a hedge fund pushed cocoa prices to a 33-year high. The company in question, Armajaro, had bought up virtually the entire European cocoa supply via the futures market – vividly illustrating the damaging impacts of profit-hungry speculators.

Since I joined WDM as a full time campaigner at the start of 2011, we’ve come a long way towards achieving our aim of securing European regulation that will adequately curb food speculation and prevent it contributing to hunger and poverty.

If you have been following the campaign for a while, you’ll probably remember some of the different things we’ve done as part of our efforts to get this legislation passed in the shape that’s needed. We’ve dressed up as Lady Luck, spread the viral video ‘Barclays Speculate’ last year and set up a spoof support group, Bankers Anonymous.

But one thing that’s not been so memorable (for most people, at least) is the intricacies of the European legislative process that all these activities are aimed at. So we’ve created this interactive timeline to explain it. Colour-coded to show the role that the three different European institutions (the commission, council of ministers and parliament) play, it explains where we’ve got to so far, and what steps in the process are still to come. And importantly, shows how our campaign has helped to improve the proposed rules, countering the wealthy and well-oiled financial lobbying machine.

We hope you enjoy it – please share your thoughts in the comments section, or email dan.iles[at]wdm.org.uk.

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