1. Which of these countries saw the rise of industrial-scale production and processing of beef, dairy, poultry, fish in the past 30-40 years?
The correct answer is: Egypt
More, much more than this:
- Egypt also greatly expanded its export market of fresh and processed agricultural goods, corporate food services and franchises, food retail sector and supermarkets.
- To understand these developments, it is helpful to look at contexts such as capital accumulation in food and agriculture, and the reconstruction of smallholder agriculture and peasantries.
- These contexts add more substance to a narrative that contains only producers and consumers.
- Dixon, Marion. The Making of the Corporate Agri-Food System in Egypt. 2013. Cornell U, PhD dissertation.
2. Meat supply chains in Latin America are closely tied to what other business sector?
The correct answer is: Biofuel
- The food (including meat), farm animal feed, and biofuel production and processing sectors in Latin America are highly inter-related.
- All these sectors have seen large expansion in the past decade. And their “performance and consolidation” are shaped by “both market and government incentives”.
- Saravia-Matus, Silvia, et al. “Investment Strategies in the Latin American Agri-Business Sub-Sectors of Agricultural Commodities, Biofuels and Meat Chains.” Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, vol. 8, no. 2, 2018, pp. 320–338.
3. National statistics for pork supply and pork consumption in China do not match each other. How much do they differ?
The correct answer is: Pork supply is reported to be 50% more than pork consumption.
How much, how come, and why this matters:
- According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC), “per capita pork supply was 37.8 kg in 2011, while per capita consumption was only 20.7 kg and 14.4 kg, respectively, for urban and rural households (an average per capita consumption for China as a whole of 17.6 kg)”.
- How did these discrepancies come about:
- The current national statistics system is not sufficiently up-to-date to capture food consumption data of “hundreds of millions of people who have left rural areas to live and work in cities” since 2000.
- Adjustment strategies “for correcting biases in official pork production statistics” no longer perform well because these strategies are based on the traditional backyard system. But this mode of production “has shrunk from 84% in 1991 to 48% in 2009”.
- Why inaccurate statistics matters:
- It can “lead to erroneous macroeconomic policies” because pork’s weight in China’s Consumer Price Index is significant (well over 6%).
- With intensification of pig farming and greater need to properly handle pig manure and carcassses, incorrect numbers “could cause government regulations to be too stringent or too mild, or to be targeted at the wrong areas of the country or the wrong categories of producers”.
- Yu, and Abler. “Where Have All the Pigs Gone? Inconsistencies in Pork Statistics in China.” China Economic Review, vol. 30, 2014, pp. 469–484.
4. What tools to counter Saudi Arabia government’s investments in foreign CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) have been suggested by a legal scholar?
The correct answer is: All of the above
- Saudi government has been investing heavily in intensive animal production systems in countries such as Iran and Pakistan. Its goal is to ensure that it can import and provide enough animal protein for its population.
- Such investment and production outsourcing is also undertaken by Qatar and United Arab Emirates.
- International Finance Corporation and other global bodies offer generous support to this investment strategy as well.
Why the suggested tools can work:
- “Because investment and trade in the Middle East do not take place in isolation, they can be used as a lever to encourage alternative agricultural productions” as well as “responsible investment and trade flows that factor in the interests of animals”.
- Blattner, Charlotte E. “Tackling Concentrated Animal Agriculture in the Middle East through Standards of Investment, Export Credits, and Trade.” Middle East Law and Governance, vol. 10, no. 2, 2018, pp. 141–159.
5. Spectacular rise in milk consumption in India and China in the 21st century is partly due to these countries’ promotion of milk as having what quality?
The correct answer is: Enhances physical growth
“Metaphor” and “meaning” matters:
- Milk in India and China has been “positioned as a food with special qualities that enhance physical growth, which in turn serves as a powerful metaphor for individual and national power and wealth”.
- What milk means and how milk is interpreted in each country – whether it is India or the U.S. – comes from milk’s unique history in that country.
- And the success of milk depends on these local interpretations and frameworks.
- Wiley, Andrea S. “Milk for ‘Growth’: Global and Local Meanings of Milk Consumption in China, India, and the United States.” Food and Foodways, vol. 19, no. 1-2, 2011, pp. 11–33.
6. Which of these aspects influence Latin American consumers’ views towards farm animal welfare and animal husbandry systems?
The correct answer is: All of the above
Also bear in mind:
- All these aspects “need to be studied and cannot be worked separately in order to promote and understand consumer attitudes towards dairy and beef systems”.
- And factors such as economical and geographical characteristics vary significantly across Latin American countries. Take for example, external funding and official development assistance (ODA) to agriculture; according to 2014 FAO figures, Mexico received 0.2%, Chile 1%, Brazil over 1.9%.
- These variations can lead to differences in consumer attitudes towards animal welfare and livestock production systems.
- Vargas-Bello-Pérez, Einar, et al. “Farm Animal Welfare Influences on Markets and Consumer Attitudes in Latin America: The Cases of Mexico, Chile and Brazil.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol. 30, no. 5, 2017, pp. 697–713.
7. Do feedlots with over 5,000 head of cattle exist in Ethiopia?
The correct answer is: Yes
- “USAID report from 2013 mentions the existence of feedlots with as many as 5,000 head located in certain corridors of the country”.
- But most cattle in Ethiopia are raised with traditional systems:
- Agro-pastoral system of the highlands (for cattle used for work power and dairy), each herd with roughly two to four head;
- Pastoral system of the lowlands (for dairy production), each herd with 10-15 head.
- Lam, Yukyan, Jillian P. Fry, Emily Hu, Brent F. Kim, Keeve E. Nachman. Industrial Food Animal Production in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Landscape Assessment. Johns Hopkins University, Center for a Livable Future, 2016.
8. In one study of Chinese consumers, industrial pig production system is favored over other systems (e.g. small family farms) because it is perceived as representing what values?
The correct answer is: Achievement, food safety, quality
- To many of the 472 Chinese consumers in six cities surveyed, the industrial system signifies that the country has evolved and progressed to a higher level. It also indicates better food safety (which these consumers consider to be of supreme importance), and provides meat with consistent quality.
- Barcellos, Marcia, et al. “Consumer Attitudes to Different Pig Production Systems: a Study from Mainland China.” Agriculture and Human Values, vol. 30, no. 3, 2013, pp. 443–455.
9. What is the scale of commercial fish farms in Myanmar, a major aquaculture producer?
The correct answer is: A mix of large, medium, and small scale
- Much of the country’s total pond area used for aquaculture is occupied by very large fish farms. This has been the case for some time and is the conventional view of aquaculture in Myanmar.
- But many small and medium-sized farms have emerged at a fast pace and they coexist with large farms. A key reason for this development is that there has been an “‘informal relaxation’ of restrictions prohibiting the conversion of paddy land to ponds in the main fish farming zones”.
- In addition, upstream elements (e.g. feed, seed) as well as downstream elements (e.g. wholesale, logistics) in Myanmar’s aquaculture supply chains have seen rapid growth, “driven by private investments of small and medium enterprises”.
- Both large and small farms use a mix of traditional and modern technologies, with a trend towards technology intensification.
- The bulk of the products from Myanmar’s aquaculture sector are sold in the expanding domestic market. Only a small proportion of the country’s farmed fish is exported.
- Belton, et al. “The Emerging Quiet Revolution in Myanmar's Aquaculture Value Chain.” Aquaculture, vol. 493, 2018, pp. 384–394.
10. What percentage of all farm animals in China are kept in facilities that undeniably are on an industrial scale?
The correct answer is: Below 85%
A lot depends on what one means by “industrial-scale”:
- In one study (Qian et al), percentages for “large-scale concentrated feedlots operations” based on the 2014 edition of China Livestock and Veterinary Yearbook are:
Fattening pigs: 40.8%. Layers: 34.7%. Broilers: 42.3%. Dairy cows: 21.8%. Beef cattle: 16.7%.
- This study uses three categories: “large-scale concentrated feedlots (LCF) operations, community-based consolidated (CBC) operations, and household-based small holder (HSH) operations".
- These operations are defined as follows:
- LCF operation:
Fattening pigs ≥ 500 head; Dairy cows ≥ 100 head; Beef cattle ≥ 100 head; Layers (including hens and ducks) ≥ 20,000 head; Broilers ≥ 50,000 head.
- HSH operation:
Fattening pigs ≤ 50 head; Dairy cows ≤ 5 head; Beef cattle ≤ 10 head; layers ≤ 500 head; broilers ≤ 2000 head
- CBC operation:
Their scale “is between the LCF and HSH operation”; CBC farms “may combine practices of both LCF and HSH”; they are “relatively small farms gathered in an area, possessed by several individuals, but managed and supervised by the national or state government”.
- LCF operation:
- Numbers for CBC operation:
Fattening pigs: 29.1%. Layers: 46.3%. Broilers: 43.3%. Dairy cows: 37.1%. Beef cattle: 28.4%
- Numbers for LCF plus CBC:
Fattening pigs: 69.9%. Layers: 80.1%. Broilers: 85.6%. Dairy cows: 58.9%. Beef cattle: 45.1%
- Note: “There is no absolute boundary among the three cultivation modes.”
- In another study (Bai et al), the number given for “landless/industrial system” in 2010 is: 56% (247 million LUs/livestock unit).
- Within landless/industrial system, proportion of monogastric livestock (i.e. pigs, layers, broilers): 74% (325 million LUs).
- The other two systems are: Mixed system, and Grazing system.
- Qian, Yi, et al. “Environmental Status of Livestock and Poultry Sectors in China under Current Transformation Stage.” Science of the Total Environment, vol. 622-623, 2018, pp. 702–709.
- Bai, Zhaohai, et al. “China’s Livestock Transition: Driving Forces, Impacts, and Consequences.” Science Advances, vol. 4, no. 7, 2018, p. eaar8534.