Here is an Agrochemical Family tree. You may note that since this “family tree” was made, Dow and Dupont have merged, and Syngenta has been purchased by the Chinese and Bayer has purchased Monsanto.
When I took my first job in Agriculture in 1980, there were more than 40 Agrochemical companies. Today, there is a handful. In addition, there are several small and mid-size companies selling old, tired generic products. There are some legitimate startup companies and lots of excitement about biological products.
This consolidation has been echoed in the seed, fertilizer, transportation and grocery industries. Now, we are seeing major consolidation among produce “handlers”. There are 20% less today than there were a couple of years ago.
The point? Consolidation is not new.
And although activists are expressing concern, that concern is too late. The reality is that over the course of the last 35 years, there should have been more effort to prevent rampant consolidation. OR! At the very least, more effort should have been made to create an environment in which it was not so advantageous to continuously consolidate our food supply in the hands of so few.
Oh well. At the time the consolidations were accelerating, it was Ag, and it was boundless. and it was low tech, and it wasn’t sexy. So did the consolidations really matter? Right?