Food conglomerates do well; farmers don't
The Tennessean, 11 May 2008
To the Editor:
Isn't it ironic that so many small farmers are barely scraping by even as food costs soar? ("High costs dim drought recovery," May 4)
It seems high grocery prices don't necessarily trickle down into farmers' pockets. So where does the money go?
According to The Independent, a leading British newspaper, a lot of it flows into the coffers of huge agricultural conglomerates.
During the three months ending in February, Monsanto's profits nearly doubled, rising from $1.4 billion to $2.2 billion. Cargill's net earnings soared 86 percent, and Archer Daniels Midland's increased 42 percent. The Mosaic Company, one of the world's largest fertilizer companies, saw its income rise from $42 million to $520 million.
Meanwhile, 100 million people in 37 countries are facing severe hunger due to rising food prices. It looks like agriculture is going the way of big oil: A few multinational corporations and their executives will get richer, while millions of their customers slide into poverty, one fill-up and one grocery bag at a time.