Monday, June 10, 2024

Meet the uber-wealthy families who control much of the food system in the US and Australia



Austin Frerick's interest in mega-rich farmers began in 2018, while he was perched on a stool in a hipster dive bar in Iowa during a competitive local political campaign.

The author got chatting to someone in the bar who told him the biggest campaign contributors were a couple of Iowa hog farmers named Jeff and Deb Hansen.

Frerick was struck by this and what these farmers symbolised.

"The most politically powerful person right now in the state is a hog farmer," Frerick tells ABC RN's Late Night Live.

And he wondered how one farmer could come to amass and sell more than 5 million pigs each year.

Frerick is a fellow of Yale's Thurman Arnold Project, which researches competition policy and antitrust enforcement. Recently he published Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America's Food Industry.

After that conversation at the bar, Frerick realised that what was happening in the pork industry — this huge consolidation of power and wealth — was happening throughout the US food system...

Read entire article, which includes short bios of each of the families.

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