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Putting Globalization and Concentration in the Agri-food Sector into Context

By David Sparling and Erna van Duren

Abstract

From the protests in the streets of Genoa, Quebec and Seattle to the U.S. Senate, one doesn’t have to look far to find opposition to globalization and concentration.“… [D]o something about antitrust, the concentration that is clogging the free market …â€1was one plea in the Senate debate of the Wellstone Amendment 2752. The proposal to place a moratorium on large agribusiness mergers and to establish a commission to review agricultural mergers, concentration, and market power was defeated 71 to 21 but provides an indicator of the concern felt in some quarters. Similar legislative proposals have been made in the European Union and again in the United States. Globalization and concentration have changed the agri-food sector. To experience global competitors, a firm does not have to enter new markets; the competitors will come to the firm. Adapting to the changing global landscape requires managers and policymakers to view the world differently, understand the factors behind the changes and plan how best to alter corporate strategy or government policy to meet the new challenges.Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade,

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