CRFA - ABCD and beyond: From grain merchants to agricultural value chain managers


  • Jennifer Clapp University of Waterloo



grain trade, Transnational corporations, agri-food value chains


The world of agricultural commodity trading firms has changed over the years, although corporate concentration has long been a defining feature of this sector. The four dominant agricultural trading firms—the ABCDs (ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis-Dreyfus)—have a long history dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s. First established as private, family-owned grain merchant companies with specific geographical specialties, these firms have since evolved to be quite complex companies. They buy and sell grain as well as a host of other agricultural and non-agricultural commodities, while they also undertake a range of activities from finance to production to processing and distribution. New entrants into this space have also taken on complex structures and activities in a bid to stay competitive.

Author Biography

Jennifer Clapp, University of Waterloo

Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor, Environment and Resource Studies Department, University of Waterloo




How to Cite

Clapp, J. (2015). CRFA - ABCD and beyond: From grain merchants to agricultural value chain managers. Canadian Food Studies La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 2(2), 126–135.