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Cargill – “The Invisible Giant”

January 24, 2009


Former Ohioan and Canadian Farmer analyses the strategies of corporate giant – Cargill. 

Brewster Kneen writes: “When Pluto Press asked me to produce a second edition of Invisible Giant, I was shocked and  amazed at the changes I found since the first edition appeared in 1995. Not only had the number of global corporate players shrunk alarmingly, but they have virtually eliminated competition between themselves through complementary strategies and business activities while at the same time forming joint ventures and partnerships amongst themselves, again to reduce the inefficiencies of competition.  

Cargill has played this game with great skill and dedication. Its reward last year was sales of US$51 billion derived from having some component of just about everything we eat pass through its hands at some point in its journey from farm to supermarket.

My purpose in writing this book is not, however, to overwhelm the reader-eater with indigestion and despair. I remain convinced that as corporations such as Cargill get bigger and bigger, and appear to exercise ever greater control over the global food system, their sheer size limits their agility and activity.  By understanding the rules they play by and the businesses they are involved in, we can gain an understanding of how we should proceed if we want a different game and a different kind of business, one in which the goal is to ensure that everyone is adequately nourished while living respectfully and harmoniously with all Creation.”

1.   Mutant Giants
2.   Cargill Inc – The Numbers                                  
3.   Origins, Organization and Ownership                        
4.   Policy Advocacy and Capitalist Subsidies           
5.   Creatures: Feeding and Processing                  
6.   Cotton, Peanuts & Malting  
7.   Processing: Oilseeds, Soybeans, Corn & Wheat       
8.   Invisible Commodities                              
9.   E-commerce                                                 
10. Coming and Going: Transport and Storage             
11.  A Typical Story– Canada, and Mexico                
12.  Fertilizer                                         
13. The West Coast                                              
14.  Rivers of Soy – South America                              
15.  Juice                                                      
16.  The ‘Far East’                                             
17.  Seeds                                                      
18.  Salt                                                       
19.  Only Cargill’s Future?                                      

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