There is a long chain between the farmer and the ultimate consumer of food produce.
At first glance one would think the farmer holds the key as they are the primary producer and owner of the food, but the economic reality is quite the opposite; the farmer appears to have little or no power when it comes to price making.
The relentless increase in farm sizes globally is adding to this problem, where the formula is lower margins multiplied by larger scale in land or livestock numbers. This is squeezing out smaller full-time farmers.
Brazilian arable farms of 100,000 hectares, American dairy farms with 10,000 dairy cows and Australian cattle and sheep stations with 50,000 head – this is farming at a corporate level, capitalism at maximum speed and it is showing no signs of slowing down.
Presently beef farmers in Ireland are in the eye of this global storm.