Enforcement These companies also aggressively protect their intellectual property rights on seeds, which means less access to important germplasm and less innovation. Agriculture still has more than 3,500 companies across North America that provide goods and services, and the change from six to three big life sciences companies is really just allowing for greater investment into the industry.”. The first half of 1998 witnessed a dramatic consolidation of power over plant genetics worldwide. CRISPR-Cas can help develop new seeds more quickly for less cost . “This industry has always balanced competition with collaboration. Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry 1996–2018. "The agriculture industry has seen several big waves of consolidation lately. Seed diversity is decreasing and seed prices are going up. When you look at specific crop markets, the level of consolidation is even more extreme. It will then be up to us to prove to the grower and to consumers how these combined companies will be better for them in the long term.”. Between 2008 and 2013, there were more than 70 seed company acquisitions by the top eight firms. These combinations are ideal for loosening of the complete width, intensive mixture, good reconsolidation and clogging free placement and pressing of the seed under the mulch. “At the end of the day, we have to make sure that our business relationships are intact and that we are able to provide the same level of service as we have in the past,” he says. 2017 Seed Company Family Tree Ccreated Septebmer 2017 by Robert Walsh WaSoo Farm, Elk Point, South Dakota: Syngenta Brands Family Tree Ccreated January 2017 by Robert Walsh, WaSoo Farm, Elk Point, South Dakota : … Two years after genetically engineered (GE) varieties were introduced in 1996, by 1998 the large agribusiness companies had accelerated their consolidation by buying up smaller firms to accumulate more intellectual property (IP) rights. “More research is needed to find solutions to problems that we are currently struggling with in Canadian farming, such as Fusarium in wheat,” he says. “We have invested billions in research and development, but not only is science becoming more complex, the regulatory environment can be unpredictable, and that also means more time and more investment,” says Weidler. New Technology Spurs Consolidation in Seed Industry. Seed Industry Structure 1996-2018 Phil Howard Associate Professor Michigan State University . Bayer announced in September a merger agreement with Monsanto, which will create the world’s largest supplier in seeds and agricultural chemicals. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions in seed lines and a declining prevalence of seed saving. So should our resistance. Unsurprisingly, this consolidation wave has sparked worries among farmers, policymakers and the broader public, who fear harmful consequences on prices, innovation and product choice. His latest chart illustrates how the ‘Big 6’ agrochemical/seed firms combine into a Big 4. the seed industry. The dominant seed system is driven by the profit motives of chemical and biotechnology companies that leverage intellectual property rights to their advantage, discouraging farmers from participating in research and seed saving. THE COMMERCIAL SEED industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired Or merged with competing firms. And as a non-GM trait, this technology wasn’t as complex as much of current seed trait research. An innovative seed industry is essential for sustainable growth in crop yields. The commercial seed industry is no exception. Consolidation in the Seed Industry. Whether it be the lack of a competitive market environment for farmers to sell their products or fewer choices in the grocery store, concentration within agribusiness affects us all. “Most growers already have established strong connections with all of these companies and even with consolidation, I don’t see them reducing their levels of service. 2.1 Related SourceWatch articles; 2.2 References; 2.3 External resources; 2.4 External articles; Mergers and Acquisitions 1996-2008. The Podolls farm organically in Fullerton, North Dakota, and run an organic seed business. This consolidation of the seed industry is cutting down on diversity,” said Barber. RealAgriculture News Team. All rights reserved. The industry flourished to some degree, but early seed trade professionals felt their growth was stymied by the U.S. government programs as well as the self-replicating nature of their product (that is, the factory contained within that product). While there is a lot of change right now, the agriculture businessplace is not shrinking.”. “The patenting and restrictive licensing of seed, genes and plant breeding material has drastically eroded access to biodiversity,” Theresa says. From the archive: organic seed breeder Frank Morton explains the structure and the consolidation in the agricultural seed industry. “Our seed system is ecologically brittle. Still, the move is needed and a positive one, say industry … History shows us that consolidation in the seed industry leads to fewer choices for all farmers, regardless of what they grow and how they grow it. Seeds of Life: Consolidation in the Seed Industry (7-2010) Filed Under: CUPS Videos, Video Interviews Tagged With: alan kapuler, corn, frank morton, hybrids, monopolies, monsanto, seeds of life, soybeans, wild garden seed. “While we can’t predict whether there will be another wave of mergers, the current relationships are strong within the industry as each segment solidifies their marketing base,” he says. Organic Valley is transitioning to carrageenan-free foods, Oregon's Coho salmon are facing threats, and President Obama prohibited future oil and gas development in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans before leaving office. Copyright © 2000-2020 Puget Consumers Co-op. The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. 1 Mergers and Acquisitions 1996-2008; 2 Articles and resources. Seed Industry Consolidation . A number of studies of consolidation in the seed industry have examined trends up until the turn of the 21st century [5-12], but the most recent, accelerating changes are not as well-characterized [13,14]. Read the “State of Organic Seed” report outlining our roadmap for developing organic seed in a way that avoids the negative trends seen in the nonorganic sector (stateoforganicseed.org). By Andrea Hayley. During this same period, the seed industry has experienced rapid consolidation. Dow and DuPont recently concluded their merger, ChemChina is currently finalizing their purchase of Syngenta and Bayer is working through the regulatory hurdles as part of their acquisition of Monsanto. Cargill's intl. He says the agriculture industry has been consolidating for the past two decades, and so far, the strong public breeding programs have remained intact, and heavy regulation has meant that competition remains strong. Abstract: Intellectual property protections on seeds have increased dramatically in recent decades, from the granting of patent-like protections on certain types of seeds in 1970 to the enforcement of contract provisions for seeds beyond the first sale in 2013. Hear all the details, plus more current food and agriculture reports. Report from ETC Group (extracts only) In the first half of the 20th century, seeds were overwhelmingly in the hands of farmers and public-sector plant breeders. Play Video . Kiki Hubbard is director of advocacy and communications for the Organic Seed Alliance. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions in seed lines and declining prevalence of seed saving ( Howard, 2009 ). The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector and acquired or merged with competing firms. 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