This extraordinary concentration of power and money in the global food trade has been identified by Oxfam in a new report this week as one of the structural flaws of the system. At each stage a handful of players dominate, not just in primary agriculture but in food manufacturing and retailing. The result, according to Oxfam, is that “they extract much of the value along the chain, while costs and risks cascade down on to the weakest participants, generally the farmers and labourers at the bottom”.
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