Big Corporations Dominate Food Sales

The growing dominance of international conglomerates in the food and farm industries has been documented by German researchers and journalists. Their “Corporation Atlas 2017” (Note: Did not find in English) calls for tighter anti-monopoly controls.

According to their dossier, 50 firms share 50 percent of the worldwide revenue for food products – and market dominance is even more prevalent in certain product categories.

Roughly 80 percent of the global tea market is held by three companies – the Dutch-British concern Unilever, the Indian corporation Tata and Associated British Foods.

Sixty percent of all baby foods and 62 percent of all cereals worldwide are produced by just four companies. In Latin America, this number is even higher – 75 percent for both product lines.

Mergers create mega-corporations

A  new wave of mergers among food producers started around 2010, triggered by the global financial crisis.

This increased market concentration, the authors of the “Corporation Atlas” assert.

They cite the 2015 mergers between US giants Heinz and Kraft and brewing companies Anheuser-Busch and SABMilleras examples for the increasingly oligarchical state of the food and beverage industries.

Agricultural and foodstuff mergers were worth 329 billion euros ($347 billion) in 2015, five times greater than mergers in the pharmaceutical and oil sectors.