By Tory Field and Beverly Bell
“The only way we’re going to… change the most basic attitude of policy-makers… is for you and me to become the policy-makers, taking charge of every aspect of our food system – from farm to fork,”said Jim Hightower, the former agriculture commissioner of Texas.[i]
The need for us to become the policy-makers to create a just and sustainable food supply chain is urgent, because in the hands of the US government it has become increasingly unjust and unsustainable. Over the past 50 years, agricultural policies that once supported small- and mid-sized farmers have been whittled away. As a result, more than 100 family farms go out of business every week.[ii] The government has instead turned food production over to agribusiness and allowed large firms to buy up small producers and traders. Currently, in the pork, poultry, beef, and grain markets, the biggest four firms control more than half the market share. Three companies control 90% of the massive global grain trade.