Ever more power over food production is concentrated in the hands of ever fewer massive multinationals – with grave implications for food security and the environment.
Not just biological and agricultural diversity are under threat from industrial farming: A recent report highlights the rapidly disappearing diversity of players in the food industry.
According to the Corporation Atlas – released by the Heinrich-Böll and Rosa-Luxemburg foundations, Friends of the Earth Germany, Germanwatch, Oxfam and Le Monde Diplomatique – businesses throughout the entire food and agriculture food chain have been consolidating to immense proportions.
In the global agriculture sector, there have long been seven international manufacturers of pesticides and seeds, the report says. But that's changing.
Seed and chemical monopolies
Once German chemicals company Bayer completes its planned takeover of seed company Monsanto, that will make it the world's biggest agrochemical producer.
Meanwhile, US giants DuPont and Dow Chemicals are also planning a merger, and ChemChina wants to buy Swiss agrochemical and seed company Syngenta.
"Soon, we won't be dealing with an oligopoly, but three huge monopolies," Barbara Unmüßig of the Heinrich-Böll foundation told DW.