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When the Big Overshadows the Little

Touch the Soil News #774 (feature photo – Coat of Arms for the Nation of Zambia – Public Domain) In the wide world of food and agriculture, the world is undergoing a new colonialism. Big nations that are far beyond their capacity to feed themselves are creating tight economic and political relationships with smaller nations that have excess farmland and water. It’s a global game of chess in which the stakes are higher than oil – food. While our big player today is China, there are other powerful food-insecure players on the horizon such as India and oil rich but food poor Middle East nations. Hitting the news recently is…

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Who’s Vying for a Seat at the Dinner Table?

Touch the Soil News #621 While the obvious answer to the question is everyone, the secondary answer is the nation in which you might live. Almost 60 percent of the world’s peoples live in just 10 nations. Can you guess them? Global food trade is the amount of food that nations with food to sell export to nations that need to import food. In a nutshell, that is almost every nation in the world. Even the USA – considered by many as a powerhouse of agricultural production – imports more than $100 billion a year in food. Today, when we think of international trade, the hot topic is imported cars…

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Fonterra – How Complicated Can the Milk Business Get?

Touch the Soil News #617 Fonterra means “spring from the land.” Fonterra is one of the world’s largest dairy producers and manufacturers headquartered in New Zealand. The company is responsible for about 30 percent of the global dairy trade and is the largest company in New Zealand. New Zealand in general and Fonterra in specifics are to dairy what Saudi Arabia is to oil. No, you probably won’t see Fonterra dairy products at the grocery store. However, you might be eating them when you go to McDonalds. Fonterra supplies enough cheese to McDonalds to create a cheese ring that goes 3.5 times around the Earth. Fonterra is a dairy cooperative…

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