control the food and you'll control the people."
Henry Kissinger (1970)
With that quote in mind it is no wonder that our agribusiness entities are so reluctant to disclose just who their money and decision making “mother” entities are. Humm, when ya think about it, it kinda lends credence to some conspiracy theories …
For the past couple of years I have been collecting information that I can quantify from public financial records and the various corporate web sites. My goal is to compose some kind of relationship chart as to who or what, controls who or what, where our necessity to life goods are concerned – particularly food. I have NOT validated ALL the information in this little ditty; however I have verified quite a lot of it. So much so that I think the local library is sick of me spending half days photo copying and printing off microphish.
When you take a gander at the company information, you will start to see a repeat of corporate entities. These entities are soo interwoven that I am having a very difficult time in sorting all this out into some kind of outline or visual. What really sticks out, even though I am not done with this task as yet, is that our food systems are indeed controlled by a handful of very powerful people scattered over a handful of corporate entities – from seeds to our grocery stores and just about everything in between.
For anyone with half a brain cell or two to rub together, the information below will undoubtedly trigger some staggering thoughts …
In 1997, 4 companies processed 80 percent of all steers and heifers in the US. (MacDonald, James M., Michael E. Ollinger, Kenneth E. Nelson, and Charles R. Handy. " Concentration and Consolidation in Livestock Slaughter." USDA Economic Research Service, March 1999.)
3 Companies Control 90% of the Beef Industry - JBS Swift, Tyson, Cargill. The meatpacking industry has become even more consolidated due to a Brazilian company taking over two major U.S. meatpacking companies.
4 Companies Control 66% of the Pork Industry. Smithfield, Tyson, Cargill and JBS Swift process most of the pork in the U.S. Now they are expanding their factory farm model to places such as Poland, Romania and Mexico. A Mexican Smithfield plant is suspected of being behind the recent outbreak of Swine Flu.
The largest pork producer (Smithfield Foods) has over 1.2 million sows (the pigs housed to give birth to those that will be slaughtered) and has the capacity to slaughter 102,900 pigs daily.
4 Companies Control 60% of the Poultry Industry. Contract poultry growers usually are under the thumb of Pilgrim’s Pride, Tyson, Perdue and Sanderson Farms.
Some of the biggest Meat Processing companies in the US are Tyson, Cargill, Swift & Co., National Beef Packing Co., Five Rivers (Smithfield and ContiBeef), Smithfield Foods, Pilgrim's Pride and Butterball. Meaning that Meat production in the US is controlled for a large part by just a handful of companies. (Hendrickson, Mary and William Heffernan. "Concentration of Agricultural Markets." Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri. April 2007.)
Overall: 4 companies control 83% of Beef Processing; 4 companies control 66% of Pork Processing and 4 companies control 58% of broiler Chicken Production and Processing.
In 1996, the rate of repeated-trauma disorders (or injuries that develop over time) at meat-packing plants was 27 times higher than the national average. (US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Meat Packing Plants Have the Highest Rate of Repeated-Trauma Disorders." August, 1999)
On average it is estimated that meat and slaughter houses misrepresent the actual occurrence of injury and illness by as much as 1,000 percent. (Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. New York : Houghton Mifflin Company. 2001, p 180)
Few Corporate Entities Control Dairy Industry. In the dairy industry, 3 dominant players control most of the dairy products we consume. Dean Foods controls the majority of fluid milk markets (up to 100% in parts of the country), while Kraft dominates the consumer cheese sector and Leprino Foods manufactures most of the mozzarella cheese for the pizza and food processing industries. Meanwhile, farmers in many parts of the country have only one dairy cooperative they can sell their milk to: Dairy Farmers of America. DFA then works in tandem with the likes of Dean Foods to manipulate milk prices to be low for farmers while price-gouging consumers. These anti-competitive practices have been the subject of a two-year investigation by the Department of Justice and DFA has been fined $12 million for price manipulation by the Commodities Future Trading Commission.
3 Companies Control 90% Corn Market. Only three companies - Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill - control 90% of the global grain trade. This means farmers in Iowa and elsewhere have had less and less options for selling their grain. These companies can also manipulate the price of corn on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Just one company, Monsanto, controls the majority of seeds in the US, and regularly threatens farmers who don't buy its seeds.
2 Companies Dominate the Corn Seed Market while Monsanto Has Near Monopoly on GM Traits. DuPont (Pioneer) and Monsanto control 58% of the U.S. market for corn seed. These companies have been pushing expensive genetically modified seeds onto farmers, further endangering biodiversity by encouraging monoculture crops. Monsanto has acquired dozens of independent seed companies in the last decade. Monsanto controls 70% of the transgenic corn market, more than 90% of the transgenic soybean market, and 90% of the transgenic cotton seed market.
Prices are rising at the supermarket, but you've heard that farmers are struggling -- and big food companies have made record profits this year.
Hawaii imports 90% of its food.
In 1866, 1,186 varieties of fruits and vegetables were produced in California. Today, California's farms produce only 350 commercial crops.
In the U.S., a wheat farmer can expect to receive about six cents of each dollar spent on a loaf of bread— approximately the cost of the wrapping.
Farmers' markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
About 1/3 of all U.S. farms are located within metropolitan areas, comprising 18% of total U.S. farmland.
In 2001 the US imported:
- 68.2% of our fish and shellfish
- 27.3 percent of confectionary products
- 21.4 percent of fruits, juices, and nuts
- 15.5 percent of vegetable oils
- 9.3 percent of red meat
The United States has no legal definition of “fresh”. Additionally, products are often grown in one area and processed in another, which may cause complications in the purchasing of local foods. In the international wine industry, much "bulk wine" is shipped to other regions or continents, to be blended with wine from other locales. It may even be marketed quite misleadingly as a product of the bottling country. This is in direct opposition to both the concept of "local food" and the concept of terroir. In 2008 Congress passed H.R.2419 which defined “local” by amending the "Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act". In the amendment "locally" and "regionally" are grouped together and are defined as:
‘‘(I) the locality or region in which the final product is marketed, so that the total distance that
the product is transported is less than 400 miles from the origin of the product; or ‘‘(II) the State in which the product is produced. – Bill Text - 110th Congress (2007-2008) - THOMAS (Library of Congress
Note 400 miles is essentially a DGD (day-goodsdistance).
In the United States, neither the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has rules for “natural." The FDA explicitly discourages the food industry from using the term. The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits labeling that is false or misleading, but does not give any specifics. The international Food and Agriculture Organization's Codex Alimentarius does not recognize the term "natural" but does have a standard for organic foods. Canada, United Kingdom and Israel do have legal definitions of “natural”.
Organic food production is a heavily regulated industry, distinct from private gardening (for now). Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as "organic" within their borders. In the context of these regulations, "organic food" is food made in a way that complies with organic standards set by national governments and international organizations. In the United States, organic production is a system that is managed in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990 and regulations in Title 7, Part 205 of the Code of Federal Regulations to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. The USDA runs the National Organic Program, which regulates the legal definition of what organic food is. There are however way too many loopholes in the US National Organic Program when it comes to processed foods within the organic industry.
Fresh Food is basically food that is not preserved by canning, dehydration, freezing, curing, smoking or any other preservation method other than storing as is. Currently there are no legal definitions of the term “fresh” in the food industry of the United States. In fact the USDA will consider some produce “fresh and in season” if was shipped and received at point of sale while still “in season” in its original farm location.
Note that Natural Food and Organic Food are NOT interchangeable terms:
- In order for a food to be labeled organic it must comply with the organic certifier’s standards.
- The term natural refers to how much processing a food has undergone.
- Natural food has undergone minimal processing and does not have added preservatives or other food additives.
- The term “natural” has nothing to do with whether that food was grown organically.
- A fruit or vegetable can be grown using dangerous pesticides but if it is unprocessed, it can still be called natural.
Food Miles: In the U.S. we have industrialized our food production systems so that food is often picked in one location, then depending on the item, it travels from farm/ranch to various “plants” for a particular process. Like: cleaning; sorting; packaging; bulk buying; etc. and finally shipped to the point of sale – our grocery stores. This travel is measured in DGD or day-goods-distance which is 400 miles. A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table. In other articles including the World Watch Institute (http://www.worldwatch.org/), in the United States, from 2007, food typically travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to plate, as much as 25 percent farther than in 1980. All these “stops” between the farm/ranch and the marketplace are controlled by a handful of mega-corporations mentioned in the rest of this article – yep the Food Cartels or in reality - Food Oligopolies.
The Svalbard Global Seed Bank or “Dooms Day Vault” is a well-guarded fortress located 810 miles from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, inside a mountain near the small village of Longyearbyen. The bank has dual blast-proof doors with motion sensors, two airlocks, and walls of steel-reinforced concrete one meter thick. The seed vault collects and houses seeds from every continent. This is supposedly to maintain plant genetic diversity in case of some disaster. It will eventually contain up to three million different varieties of seeds from the entire world, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future,’ according to the Norwegian government. Seeds will be specially wrapped to exclude moisture. There will be no full-time staff, but the vault's relative inaccessibility will facilitate monitoring any possible human activity. The question here is how are we supposed to feel safe, confident or protected when the entities that “manage and administer” this vault are: the Gates Foundation, DuPont Corporation, Monsanto Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, Syngenta Foundation, the Government of Norway, and the World Bank (to name a few)?
In “Multinational companies becoming a threat to food security” (http://www.consumer.org.my/index.php/food/security/152-multinational-companies-becoming-a-threat-to-food-security) “It is now increasingly realised that the growing dominance of food and agriculture sector by a handful of giant agribusiness corporations is posing a serious threat to food security and well-being of farmers. This dominance starts right from the beginning of agricultural work, i.e. from seeds. … This dominance of farming by giant agribusiness companies has proved socially disruptive, ecologically destructive and ruinous for family farmers, particularly in the US where the dominance of these companies has spread the most rapidly. … However many giant agri-business have obtained access to these invaluable genetic material thereby greatly increasing their control of the food system.”
In a Huffington Post commentary titled Guess Who's Controlling Our Food Supply by Rob Smart dated July 27, 2009 stated: “…For those who prefer to avoid serving as human lab rats, myself included, our non-GM food options, according to advocates of GM food, boil down to eating USDA Certified Organic, which do not allow any genetically modified seed or crops to be used on such labeled unprocessed food products. Their idea of severely limiting consumer choice, since they are adamantly opposed to "GMO Inside" labeling, goes against their own argument of freedom to choose, which also goes against the very fabric of what makes America's version of capitalism work so well. … It is hard to understand how a handful of companies have amassed so much control over food ingredients found in an estimated 75 percent of processed foods in America's supermarkets. Making matters worse, and as the Scientific American editors point out, we are talking about a basic physiological need -- food, which joins water, shelter and a handful of other needs defined by Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of needs. … Who cares if these claims have not been independently verified. Who cares if the Union of Concerned Scientists have released a report on GM crop yields debunking industry claims of significant yield improvements: "Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields." …”
If JBS gobbles up Smithfield, three companies will own U.S. meat market (http://www.grist.org/article/food-wall-street-bets-on-jbs-takeover-of-pork-giant-smithfield)
Per Scientific America, Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research? (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research) August 13, 2009: “Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers. … Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal.” And “To purchase genetically modified seeds, a customer must sign an agreement that limits what can be done with them. (If you have installed software recently, you will recognize the concept of the end-user agreement.) Agreements are considered necessary to protect a company’s intellectual property, and they justifiably preclude the replication of the genetic enhancements that make the seeds unique. But agritech companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta go further. For a decade their user agreements have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research. Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects….”
In an article of The Examiner in March of 2011 by Kenneth Schorten Jr, titled “George Soros making a move to control food and grain production” (http://www.examiner.com/finance-examiner-in-national/george-soros-making-a-move-to-control-food-and-grain-production) it stated: “Financier and progressive activist George Soros is formulating a move to control food and grain production by purchasing grain elevators in late March in several parts of the United States through his Soros Managment Fund's backed Gavilon Grain. With purchases made in March, Gavilon Grain will become the third largest grain company behind Cargill, and Archer-Daniels Midland.”
According to Vigilant Citizen (http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/irrational-consumerism-or-the-few-companies-who-feed-the-world/) article Irrational Consumerism (or The Few Companies Who Feed the World) dated April 15th: “Not many people realize that most of the processed foods available on the market, whether they be in groceries or fast-food chains, all come from the same few companies. Even less people realize that these companies are major actors in elite organizations who decide health, social and economic policies around the world. We’ll look at the big three companies who feed the world, their many brands and the tactics they undertake to make people crave their products. If one were to carefully study the labels on packaged products in an average grocery store, one would probably notice that the same company names appear repeatedly: Nestlé, Kraft, General Mills and a few others. Many brands offering good ol’ fashioned homemade or all-natural/organic foods are nothing more than subsidiaries of these few world-wide mega-companies. ... “Drink pure, clear, refreshing Aquafina water, bottled with care from remote natural sources in the Himalayas … BROUGHT TO YOU BY PEPSICO, THE MAKER OF TACO BELL AND CHEETOS MIGHTY ZINGERS!” ... The processed-food industry can be considered a true oligopoly. Together, the three leading food companies, Nestle, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, achieve a dominant proportion of global processed-food sales. In fact, these three companies are often used as an example of “Rule of Three” in business schools, since they are a real-life example of a market being dominated by three gigantic actors."
From ModernSurvivalBlog.com (http://modernsurvivalblog.com/current-events-economics-politics/food-supply-controlled-by-only-a-few/) in the post dated July 13, 2010 titled “Food Supply Controlled By Only A Few”: “I’ve read that the top five supermarket grocery store chains in many countries of Europe, account for two-thirds of the total food sales in those regions. Here in the U.S., it is apparently nearly the same with the top seven supermarket chains making up two-thirds of sales according to 2007 data (I’m sure that not much has changed since 2007 to today). … It is quite a thing that only four companies control half of the food supply in the U.S., with probably similar numbers in other developed countries. …” The post has a great graphic showing just what grocery stores provide the most.
One cannot ignore an article published by the Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) in December of 1995 titled “Control by the Food Cartel Companies: Profiles and Histories” which introduced us to the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel. Naming:
Cargill: #1 U.S. grain trader/exporter (25% of market, which is equivalent to Cargill exporting 25.1 million tons or 1.0 billion bushels of grain); #1 world grain trader/exporter (25% of market, which is equivalent to Cargill exporting 52.9 million tons, or 2.11 billion bushels of grain); #1 U.S. owner of grain elevators (340 elevators); #1 world cotton trader; #1 U.S. manufacturer of corn-based high-protein animal feeds (through subsidiary Nutrena Mills); #2 U.S. wet corn miller; #2 U.S. soybean crusher; #2 Argentine grain exporter (10% of market); #3 U.S. flour miller (18% of market); #3 U.S. meatpacker, through Excel division (18% of market); #3 U.S. pork packer/slaughterer; #3 U.S. commercial animal feeder; #3 French grain exporter (15-18% of market); #6 U.S. turkey producer.
Cargill raises 350,000 hogs, 12 million turkeys, and 312 million broiler chickens. In the United States, it owns 420 barges, 11 towboats, 2 huge vessels that sail the Great Lakes, 12 ocean-going ships, 2,000 railroad hopper cars, and 2,000 tank cars.
Cargill and its subsidiaries operate 800 plants. It has 500 U.S. offices, 300 foreign offices. It operates in 60 countries.
Continental Grain: Continental processes and markets 2 billion pounds of poultry, beef, pork, and seafood, along with 5 million tons of animal feeds and wheat flour. The company transports nearly 75 million tons of grains, oilseeds, rice, cotton, and energy products annually, an amount that exceeds the annual production of almost every country in the world.
Continental owns a fleet of towboats and 500 river barges. It owns over 1,500 hopper cars. It has offices and plants in 50 countries, on 6 continents.
Louis Dryfes: #1 French grain exporter; #3 world grain exporter; #4 U.S. grain exporter; #5 Argentine grain exporter (8% of market); #1 world exporter of grain to Russia.
Louis Dreyfus operates 47 vessels—bulk carriers, lakers, panamaxes, and chemical and natural gas carriers—worldwide.
Bunge and Born: #1 U.S. dry corn miller (through its subsidiary, Lauhoff Grain) (18% of the market); reportedly #1 Brazilian grain exporter; #2 U.S. soybean products (soymeal and soy oil) exporter; #3 U.S. grain exporter; #3 U.S. soybean processor; #4 world grain exporter; #4 U.S. grain elevator capacity; #7 Argentine grain exporter.
Bunge operates 50 grain elevators in the United States, most of them located along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to New Orleans. It also has a giant grain export elevator in Quebec City, Canada.
Andre: #1 South African grain exporter; #5 world grain trader; #5 or #6 U.S. grain exporter.
Archer-Daniels Midland-Töpfer: #1 U.S. soybean crusher (between 30 and 35% of market); #1 U.S. wet corn miller (approximately 50% of market); #1 world processor of combined grain and oil seed; #1 world producer of ethanol; #1 U.S. producer of corn-based additive (60% of market); #2 U.S. flour miller (23% of market); #2 in U.S. grain elevator capacity; #3 U.S. dry corn miller, through subsidiary Krause Milling (10% of market); #5 or #6 world grain export trader (combined ADM and Töpfer) (9% of market).
ADM/Töpfer makes enough flour every year to bake 16 billion loaves of bread and enough soybean meal to feed 13 billion chickens—twice as many broilers as the United States produces.
ConAgra: #1 U.S. flour miller (24% of market); #1 U.S. sheep slaughterer (33% of market), through Sipco and Montfort meats; #2 U.S. beef slaughterer (20% of market); #2 U.S. pork slaughterer; #4 U.S. dry corn miller (8% of market)
IBP: #1 U.S. beef slaughterer (26% of market); #1 U.S. pork slaughter (12% of market). IBP, the largest butcher in the world, accounts for 9 billion pounds of meat a year, or about 14% of U.S. total. Japan, which consumes half of all U.S. meat exports, is a major market for IBP.
IBP was bought in 1981 by Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum Corp. Occidental sold 49.5% of the company in 1987, and the remaining 50.5% of IBP in 1991. FMR Corp. is the holding company for Fidelity Mutual Funds, the largest family of mutual funds in the United States, with over $300 billion in investments. FMR Corp. is run by Boston Brahmin oligarchical families, and owns 13% of IBP's stock.
FMR is also a large owner of raw material cartel companies, including shares of 5% or more in: Homestake Mining, Coeur D'Alene Mines, and Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corp., three of the largest gold-mining companies in the United States.
Nestle: #1 world food company; #1 world trader in dry milk powder; #1 world trader of condensed milk; #1 seller of chocolate and confectionary products; #1 world seller of mineral water; #3 U.S. coffee firm.
In 1994, there were 13 countries in which Nestlé had 1 billion Swiss francs or more in sales; the countries (with sales in billions of Swiss francs in parenthesis): U.S. (SF 12.2); France (SF 6.5); Germany (SF 6.1); U.K. (SF 3.3); Italy (SF 3.2); Japan (SF 3.1); Brazil (SF 2.9); Mexico (SF 1.8); Spain (SF 1.8); Australia (SF 1.1); Switzerland (SF 1.1); the Philippines (SF 1.1); Canada (SF 1.0). Nestlé's has 400 manufacturing facilities on 5 continents.
Unilever: #1 world producer of ice cream; #1 world producer of margarine; one of the top five world exporters of dry milk powder; #1 European tea seller; #2 or #3 world producer of soaps and detergents; one of the top five world crushers of palm oil and palm kernel; one of world's largest producers of olive oil.
Phillip Morris: #2 world food company; #1 U.S. food company (10¢ of every $1 Americans spend on branded food items in the United States is for a Philip Morris/Kraft food product); #1 world processed cheese seller; #1 world cream cheese seller; #1 U.S. seller of luncheon meats; #1 U.S. seller of powdered soft drinks; #1 world cigarette producer; #1 U.S. and Japan cigarette producer (44.8% of U.S. market); #2 U.S. beer brewer, through Miller Brewing; #3 world beer brewer; #3 world confectionery business; #3 U.S. breakfast cereal company (Post cereals).
In the same issue EIR laid out the path of another cartel in “The Windsors' Global Food Cartel: Instrument for Starvation” (http://www.larouchepub.com/other/1995/2249_windsor_food.html) article:
“Ten to twelve pivotal companies, assisted by another three dozen, run the world's food supply. They are the key components of the Anglo-Dutch-Swiss food cartel, which is grouped around Britain's House of Windsor. Led by the six leading grain companies—Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Born, André, and Archer Daniels Midland/Töpfer—the Windsor-led food and raw materials cartel has complete domination over world cereals and grains supplies, from wheat to corn and oats, from barley to sorghum and rye. But it also controls meat, dairy, edible oils and fats, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and all forms of spices….” (great chart)
Be sure to take a look at LaRouche’s “Cargill and Agro-Cartels Agenda For Globalization and Famine; LaRouche Responds" November 16, 2009 (http://www.larouchepac.com/node/12391) “This week's official pre-meetings for the Nov. 16-18 World Food Security Summit convened in Rome by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, tell in advance why the intended Declaration (a draft is circulating) is a call for more globalization and famine, in the false name of combating hunger! … Lyndon LaRouche said, "It's a fraud! It's a plan to decrease the world's population by two-thirds. It's a desperate effort to keep control for the moment. It's bad bullshit,— that's the only way to describe it. Don't give it any credibility. They are who they are, out for genocide. Don't get excited about it; it's not going to work. A different trend is happening in the world; at this time, the power of London is about to evaporate. London and its friends are about to lose their power." … On Nov. 12-13, FAO Director Jacques Diouf and other FAO officials met with top execs of major agro-cartel companies now dominating world food, farming, and processing, at a forum, "Private Sector Actions to Reduce Food Insecurity," including Paul Naar, Vice President of Cargill; David Blanchard, Senior V.P. of Unilever; Henry Rieux, Bunge, Europe; Dean Oestreich, Chairman of Pioneer Hi-Bred International (DuPont), the world's largest seed company; Sean de Cleene, Vice President, Yara Fertilizer, the world's largest; and many others. Their common theme, as stated in the title of one of the panels, is: "Sustainable Food Value Chains," which is globaloney-talk meaning: the cartels—not governments, not farmers, not citizens—make the decisions from farm to table, on who farms, who eats, and who doesn't. …This year a new entity was formed called the Global Food Initiative, by four leaders of the world food cartel: Monsanto, ADM, DuPont (Pioneer), and John Deere. The purpose of the association is to promote still more globalization and private control over food seeds, processing, farm inputs, trade, and final distribution. …”
In August of 2010 CommodityOnline.com published “Potash cartels and impact on food supply” (http://www.commodityonline.com/news/Potash-cartels-and-impact-on-food-supply-31172-3-1.html): “The hot news now is the BHP Billiton's unsolicited offer to buy Canadian fertilizer company, PotashCorp for $40 bn and PotashCorp taking alternative measures to block the bid. It is not yet clear why fertilizer companies have suddenly become hot favorites for acquisitions and mergers. … A Bloomberg report quaoting experts said that growth in world population necessitates more food production and hence enhanced fertiliser inputs. The global population will swell to 9.1 bn in 2050 from 6.8 bn, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). … “
In a post titled “"Peak Food": Agriculture Cartels, Oil, and Seed Patents” (http://www.oftwominds.com/blogsept09/peak-food09-09.html) in September of 2009 some interesting questions were posed: “… I recently contended that much of household income flows to a handful of cartels How Much of Your Money Goes to Monopolies and Cartels?. The same can be said of the source of most of our food: global agriculture. Correspondent Bart D. (Farm business consultant) recently broke down the production costs for wheat grown in Australia: Further to your work on the proportion of our spending that goes to the big corporations (cartels): I just did a quick analysis of the corporate take in my area of expertise: Farming.
Wheat in a 'high rainfall' area of Australia costs on average $323 per hectare to produce. (This makes a benchmark yield of 3.5 ton of grain) Of that cost of production:
$111 goes to fertilizer. We have a choice of 2 companies.
$66 goes to chemicals. We have a choice of 8 companies but only 4 would hold most of the patents for most of the chemicals. (bayer, syngenta, Dow, dupont)
$65 goes to fuels. We have a choice of 4 companies.
$9 goes to insurance. We have a choice of about 4.
$8 goes to machinery. We have a choice of about 4.
$23 goes to seed (which could be bought from one of about 4 companies producing new varieties and holding plant breeder rights, or it could be on-farm seed from a free variety that is still produced using 80% corporate inputs)
Monsanto and Syngenta are getting scary in this field. They are the leaders in plant breeder rights and see the infinite profit potential in owning the bulk of the world's food genome. Scarier than Peak Oil in my opinion. If they are able to saturate the market with their crop varieties you can be sure there will be built in 'self destruct sequence' that means you MUST buy their seed or have a crop that reverts to weedy grass.
This is the case with many hybrid vegetable varieties already. The seed they produce will not produce good marketable produce the following year ... it throws back to a highly variable plant of different sizes, grades and maturation times, making it difficult to manage and market.
So $259 to $282 or 80% to 87% of costs of wheat production go to multinational companies! The other 13% to 20% goes to small service providers who could probably break their costs down in the same way.
When you consider that chemicals and fertilizers use huge amounts of fuels to produce you can sense that the share of total money flowing in the agricultural sector that stays within the major corporations is very, very high indeed. …”
In December 2010 Bill 510 escaped national attention as citizens were busy tracking other high profile bills. This was a very sad happening. Read “What is the Future of the Small Family Farm? Will New Law Let Them Be Swallowed Up by Large Corporations?" (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/6100302/what_is_the_future_of_the_small_family.html) by Walt Crocker: "Bill 510 slid quietly through the congress recently without much fanfare. It could seriously affect how we consume food in this country, all in the name of "national security." It's even been called the “food safety" bill. … The bill could severely restrict the sale of seeds and make most farms (including the small ones) buy their seeds from companies like Monsanto. It would also give the FDA a lot more control over our food supply. It would turn our food over to Homeland Security in the event of an emergency. … Some even go so far as to say that natural and herbal supplements would be outlawed. Some folks believe that the bill will put most of our food supply in the hands of heavily- regulated factory farms. … My question is what will it do to the already beleaguered small family farm? The small family farm was just starting to make a comeback with the new "real foods" movement. Farmer's markets are becoming more and more popular. Was this becoming a threat to the huge food cartels? ... "Is it any wonder that most people are confused about our food system? It's hard to know what a farm is. The factory farm model is one which has produced unsafe food that has no taste, and the small family farms are few and far between. Still, the future of humanity is still as dependent on real farms today as it ever was. We can ignore natural law but we can't ignore the consequences." ... The family farm is a self-sustaining unit, unlike the factory farms which release pollutants into our water and soil. All the waste on a small family farm is returned to the earth. Go to your local farmer's market and buy some eggs. Then compare them to the ones you get at the mega market. You definitely won't mind paying a little more for the fresh family farm eggs...."
As a side note the post titled “7 Mega-Cartels That Kill the Free Market and Our Sovereignty” (http://www.activistpost.com/2010/10/7-mega-cartels-that-kill-free-market.html) dated October 2010 does a good job of explaining the “Cartelism” of America and how it relates to all our necessity to life goods and shadow governments from: Banking, Intelligence, Military, Energy, Food, Medicine, to Media. It is well worth reading even if you do not agree, if you are indeed an independent, free thinker it will be truly thought provoking. “Think we have a free market? Think again. Think it was free market capitalism that collapsed the financial system? Think again. What America has, and what we've had for a long time, is Cartelism. It is becoming increasingly evident that every industry has been infected by "Too-Big-to-Fail" consolidation that has resulted in a near-picture-perfect oligarchy -- a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control. …”
To gather more detail and view the charts see Food For Thought-Who Controls Our Food? @ http://www.scribd.com/doc/58850015/Food-for-Thought-Who-Controls-Our-Food