Corporate farming

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Corporate farming is the business based on agriculture, specifically, what is seen by some as the practices of would-be[clarification needed] megacorporations involved in it. It is a modern food industry which encompasses the use of products for the company itself, and entire chain of agriculture-related business. The term also includes the influence of companies on education, research and public policy, through their educational funding and government lobbying efforts. "Corporate farming" may be used synonymously with "agribusiness" although "agribusiness" is also used to mean other things, and it is seen as the destroyer of the family farm.

"Corporate farming" is a fairly broad term that deals with the general practices and effects of a small number of large, global corporations that dominate the food industry. It does not refer simply to any incorporated agribusiness enterprise, although most farms today buy something from, or sell something to, big corporations.

Contract farming[edit]

Contract farming is a form of vertical integration where the farmer is contractually bound to supply a given quantity and quality of product to a processing or marketing enterprise. The buyer agrees in advance to pay a certain price to the farmer and often provides technical advice and inputs (the cost of the inputs being deducted from the farmer's revenue once the product has been sold to the buyer). Contract farming has arguably not resulted so far in a significant improvement in the livelihoods of small farmers in developing countries because buyers generally prefer to deal with large-scale producers who are better placed to meet the stringent food quality and timeliness requirements.[1]

Corporate farm vs family farm[edit]

Cargill beef processing plant

Farms are expensive to operate; input costs may include farm machinery, crop insurance, fertilizers, irrigation, pesticides, fuel, and seeds.

One major difference between independent farming and corporate farming is that a corporate farmer is usually a contracted employee, rather than the owner of the farm.

Although 14% of total food production comes from the two percent of all farms in the United States that are owned by corporations or other non-family entities, 50% of food production comes from the biggest two percent of all farms. In 1900, it came from 17% of all farms.[2]

Effects ascribed to corporate farming[edit]

Agriculture is an industry which provides significant economies of scale to large producers. Some of those include Archers Daniels Midland, Monsanto, Tyson and Del Monte. Bonanza farms were significant in the history of farming in the United States. Some crops are usually farmed in large plantations with many employees, to get those economies.

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Eaton, Charles and Andrew W. Shepherd. [1] "Contract Farming: Partnerships for Growth",Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2001
  2. ^ USDA's "U.S. Farms: Numbers, Size, and Ownership"

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