Today, from meat to beer to seeds, the food industry is highly consolidated. The removal of a long-standing ownership structure, one that distributed profit and opportunity across America’s landscape, means that now, most land and most animals are now cared for by corporations, not by individuals.
Last week, a coalition of farmers, fishermen, and food system activists launched a new campaign that calls on three dominant food service management companies, Aramark, Compass Group, and Sodexo, to increase local and humane food purchasing, invest in racial equity, and reduce their carbon emissions, among other demands.
Since roughly 2009, Americans may have been paying too much for their pork chops, barbeque, hams, and trotters. That’s the claim of two law firms that filed separate class action suits on behalf of consumers and food distributors charging eight major pork packers and an industry data sharing service, Agri Stats, with colluding to manipulate prices.
On Thursday, Bayer closed its $62.5 billion purchase of Monsanto. This comes roughly a week after the Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the merger, on the condition that the corporations sell off $9 billion worth of assets, including seed divisions, intellectual property, research projects, and more. Yet even after these divestitures, the combined entity will be the largest global seed and agrochemical corporation, and U.S. based field crop growers fear the power of the new combine.