Brazilian Government Finds that TIAA and Harvard Violated Law in Acquiring Half a Million Acres of Farmland

The companies face the potential loss of farmland worth as much as $1 billion raising questions about their activity in other countries and their claims to social responsibility


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The federal land agency of the Brazilian government and a Brazilian state court have determined that pension fund manager TIAA and Harvard University’s endowment fund illegally acquired more than 500,000 acres of farmland in Brazil’s ecologically sensitive Cerrado region.

The positions issued by the country’s federal land agency, the National Institute for Agrarian Reform (INCRA), and the state court of Bahia are detailed


When Pensions Buy Plantations: TIAA and other Wall Street Firms are Amassing Farmland in Mississippi

August 28, 2019

The cover story of this month’s The Atlantic magazine is a must-read article by Vann Newkirk titled The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.” It chronicles the decades of systematic corruption that defrauded black farmers and their families out of millions of acres of prime farmland in Mississippi and across many states in the Deep South.


Statement on Farmland Speculation for International Biodiversity Day 2020

May 19, 2020

To mark this year’s International Biodiversity Day, May 22, we call upon participants in investment funds, pension funds and retirement plans to demand an end to speculation with farmland that destroys biodiversity, makes food systems more vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, and creates the conditions for pandemic disease.

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Investing in a better future: how TIAA has it all wrong

August 6, 2019

Seventeen years ago, ActionAid selected the financial services company TIAA to manage our staff’s retirement funds because we believed them to be a responsible investor. However, we have become increasingly concerned about TIAA’s investments in farmland — both here in the United States and in countries like Brazil. What most TIAA clients don’t know is that their retirement money is being used in shady land deals, driving deforestation in Brazil, fueling the corporatization of farming in the U.S., and effectively ...