has been very interested and very aggressive trying to get into the
United States,....“And they have the resources to do it.” - Iowa Sen.
With the recent announcement of the Smithfield-Shuanghui merger much speculation has been circulating around the internet of late.
I've been busy farming and not paying more than a sideways glance at world events compared to my normal research. However, I thought it was time to give my thoughts on the merger as well.
A look around the 'net seems to indicate that the official word from both companies is the merger is more about China needing more pork products rather than China having an interest in selling pork into the U.S.
That makes sense as China has a population that is growing at a staggering rate. Couple that with the fact that the Chinese have always been heavy pork eaters and you can see how that would be the case.
I wonder if that means a whole bunch of piggies will be headed that way instead of to U.S. grocery stores?
One argument could be that means big-ag farmers are gonna have to ramp up production to meet the demand...and that means more profitable U.S. pig farmers.
Since the majority of those type farm operations are under the thumb of huge companies such as Smithfield I suspect they will get a whole bunch more work and little bit more money. While Mr. Big company gets richer.
That's been the trend since we started down the road of vertical integration of our farm operations. Don't get me wrong...It's a free market. They have the right to operate that way, but it seems like it will continue to make a problem into a bigger problem.
I definitely can see retail pork prices going up over the long haul as more pork gets shipped to China.
And another snippet I found interesting...
"The Chinese also stand to benefit from the merger because of the country’s problems with food safety and sanitation. The U.S. pork industry has a longstanding reputation for food safety, sanitation and environmental integrity." - Hoosier Ag Today
Did that say environmental integrity? From what I can tell the environmental integrity of the huge factory hog farms in the United States is in shambles.
I find it hard to believe that someone would utter the words environmental integrity and industrial hog farming in the same sentence. Maybe compared to the Chinese it looks like integrity, but they're not the latest award winners of environmental stewardship last time I checked.
However, I believe that, as Joseph Goebbels was reputedly said to state, repeat a lie often enough and it is believed to be the truth.
Until Next time...
Spring Hill Farms
Here's a few links to ponder. Do we really want more factory hog farms in America?
PBS Video of North Carolina Hog Farms
Large hog farms emit hydrogen sulfide, a gas that most often causes flu-like symptoms in humans, but at high concentrations can lead to brain damage. In 1998, the National Institute of Health reported that 19 people died as a result of hydrogen sulfide emissions from manure pits. [more]
“The hog farming industry in North Carolina continues to use our waterways and lands as a garbage dump, and the Taylor facility is yet another example of this reckless behavior,” said Gary Grant, director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving North Carolina waterways. “The clear violation of the law and disregard for the local community needs to be addressed, and the lack of any agency action has convinced us that a citizen suit is the only way we can stop this behavior.” Read more here: