Our societies have never before consumed such vast quantites of raw materials as we do at the start of the 21st century. Wheat, rice, sugar, soy, oil – all these commodities are today the subject of speculation. The emergence of major powers like China, India and Brazil has led to an explosion in demand, but they’re not the only ones responsible. Politicians, NGOs and the media all point the finger at traders. So who are these speculators who stand accused of pushing the planet to the brink of famine? And exactly how do the commodity markets operate, given their reputation for being complex and opaque?
For the first time, this documentary exposes the mechanisms of this great global commerce which has a major economic and political impact, not to mention its effect on food supply. It also reveals the daily life of the main protagonists – the traders themselves – those men and women who buy, transport, and resell commodities and who speculate on fluctuations in their prices.
From African cotton plantations to Hong Kong import companies, from Brazilian soy fields to the trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade and the vast container ports of Santos and Le Havre, this investigation covers four continents and penetrates one of the central pillars of the global economy; a fantastic world whose fundamental rule is secrecy.
Production: ROCHE PRODUCTIONS
Directors: Jean Crépu et Jean-Pierre Boris
Genre: Investigation & Politics
Available versions: French, English