Issue 19: "Big" meat, food, ag corporations: What's this bigness about and why should anyone care?

July 7, 2024

No one disputes the fact that meat and agri-food corporations in the world have grown larger and larger over the past several decades. At the same time, the number of small and mid-sized companies in these sectors have dwindled drastically.

These agri-food giants are often referred to as "Big Meat", "Big Food", " Big Ag", "Big Diary", etc., similar to "Big Oil", "Big Pharma", "Big Tech".

Why does "big" matter? Why should anyone care that animal protein and agri-food industries are dominated by a handful of mega-conglomerates?

Power. That's the key concern with "Big".

Power and Big go hand in hand and reinforce each other.

If one dislikes Big Meat /Food /Ag and wants to do something to fix this "Big" problem, one needs to understand more deeply why and how these conglomerates get big and powerful.

Another reason for the need to understand what propelled these big corporations up the league table is that companies and governments in emerging economies are eager to follow the reigning conglomerates' path to bigness and greatness. They want to tell the same success stories in their own countries.

The content of this issue of ASWT is gleaned from works by academic researchers who have dived deep into some of the many ingredients that go into making the big meat stew even bigger. It aims to give a sense of what this bigness is all about, a glimpse into its hidden depths. Hopefully this issue will whet readers' appetite and encourage them to learn more about this fascinating and consequential topic.

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