Systems - Global and Local
of marketing and social life
In every corner of the world, small and medium-sized producers are
being squeezed by
middlemen, and are struggling to survive.
At the turn of the century, US farmers
received 44% of every dollar spent on food. By the 1990s, farmers
share of the market dropped to only 21%. In many cases this is insufficient
to cover the cost of production. Marketing now takes a full 79%
smaller slice of the pie
Supermarkets and middlemen are threatening the livelihood and
security of small and medium-sized farmers everywhere, taking
an ever-greater proportion of the prices paid by consumers.
Farming at a loss is becoming increasingly common. In May 2000,
English milk producers were paid about 25% less for their milk
than it cost them to produce it!
Suicide among farmers in both North and South is increasing. It
is now the leading cause of death among farmers in the US, occurring
at a rate three times higher than in the general population.
urban poverty: The globalisation of agriculture and food
leads to the marginalisation of small and medium-sized farms in
the South. More and more rural people are being pushed off the land
into cities where the vast majority end up in slums.