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lecture 5

Course Code
Michael Bunce

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food = commodity = product (processed)
value is added
traded, marketed, has surplus value -- then make production of food as efficient
and profitable
- becomes a manufactured item (process)
- fresh fruits/vegetables -- small amount of processing
-- frozen & compacted into a patty
- transportation of feed on a global scale
5. Global agribusiness system
- global scale integration of all stages of food production into a corporate system
- agribusiness --
- agro-food complexes: industrial relations of production and processing (e.g. grain-
livestock complex)
-- corn, soybeans (most are GMOs)
production expanded to fuel of growth/feed of
- verticle linkages
Ownership linkages = corporate control of all stages (Del Monte)
Contract linkages = farmers under contract to corporations (McCains)
- farmers producing things they have to find a market for -- avoid tariffs, do not
have to be subject to price fluxes
contractors -- Cargill
- growing grain and contracting others to grow grain
- inputs that farmers use (seeds) and outputs [control over both ends of production]
- corporation inputs
farm enterprise
corporate production of outputs
-- 1-3% of profits go back to the farm
- exploited -- so many of them, do not have influence over market
Agro-food regimes
: systems that control global agribusiness
- control of commodity markets by trading corporations
- global food chains --
- corporate consolidation (Nestle and chocolate, baby formula - milk)
- government regulation
- trade regimes: GATT and WTO - free trade
Social and environmental consequences of global agribusiness
1. Agricultural restructuring
- specialization
- consolidation
2. Shifts in broad patterns of land use
- new agricultural export regions
- shifts to large-scale commercial agriculture in LDCs
- increased regional specialization: principle of comparitive
3. Weakening of rural
4. Dependency on agribusiness foods
5. Environmental implications
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