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