MarketLine Blog

Posts about Agriculture

AeroFarms: High-Rise Greens


AeroFarms’ food growing method, called aeroponics, requires no dirt, no sun and needs about 95% less water than traditional farming. It also applies 40% less fertilizer, and no pesticides. The company uses rehabilitated buildings, such as warehouses or old industrial plants, instead of constructing sophisticated massive, modern facilities from scratch, which dramatically reduces the property costs. While about ten years ago, indoor farming was associated with high costs and visions of people in lab coats walking around plants in soil many stories up in the air, the reality today is… Read more

Ginkgo Bioworks: Quest to disrupt the biotech space


Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based DNA writer and designer company, launched in 2008, is already one of the largest DNA writers in the world. It is expected to make over $20m in revenue in 2017. Ginkgo’s success is based on an innovative technology that uses yeast as a base to make all kinds of substances, including perfumes, cosmetics and sweeteners, from microbugs. This technology can be used across a whole host of consumer and industrial products, enabling customers to grow rather than manufacture better products. The company is currently working on… Read more

Mega Agriculture: Three huge agriculture acquisitions creating monstrous companies that will control the food supply


Six of the world’s largest agricultural firms, those that control seed patents, produce pesticides and fertilizers and effectively dominate the worlds agricultural output are about to become three. Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Syngenta, Du Pont, Bayer and ChemChina have deals to absorb each other, further consolidating the industry and firming up their strangle hold on farmers and the means of production. Of great concern to regulators and the agriculture industry alike is that the industry is already very much consolidated and with these three mergers the resulting companies will control over… Read more

Baltic nations agriculture and transportation sectors suffer due to Russian sanctions


Western sanctions on Russia due to the events that unfolded in Crimea in 2014 resulted in Russia only days later reciprocating and introducing its own sanctions on the EU and the US. Whilst the EU sanctions have focused on oil companies and Russian banks, Russian sanctions on the EU have focused on the agricultural sector. This has been bad news for players in the agricultural and transportation sectors in the Baltic nations. Russia has historically been a key export market for Baltic exporters and the two have a long history… Read more

Brazilian meat scandal: Confidence in $14bn industry is returning


The scandal to hit the meat industry in Brazil at one stage threatened to result in the sort of bans on a food product not seen since the BSE crises occurred in the United Kingdom in the 1990s. Although the more salacious accusations reported in the press have come to nothing, many serious accusations resulted in the erection of import bans; China stopped all imports of Brazilian meat, whilst the EU only prevented access from the affected plants. But now the worst consequences appear to have been avoided and the… Read more

Russian agriculture: Sanctions to create an agricultural superpower?


Following the Western penalties imposed on Russian companies in 2014, the Russian government responded with countersanctions, banning imports of many western food products. This encouraged import substitution and made Russian exports more competitive, thus showing that despite the poor state of east-west relations, there are plenty opportunities to be found in the Russian market. The Russian government, with an already set goal to diversify its economy which is heavily dependent on energy exports, has provided RUB215bn ($3.2bn) for the development of the agricultural sector, resulting in sudden and significant growth…. Read more

Sequencing Quinoa: Food for thought


The pharmaceutical industry has been growing at a strong rate in recent years. One aspect of this market is that of the food supplement. The growing trend especially amongst the older populace and with the hectic lifestyles that are led in developed countries lends support to the supplement industry. The ability of scientists to understand the functions of different genes have assisted in the growth of specific markets and also in the changes to specific plant species. When looking at some of the historic plant species and how they have… Read more

Population growth, industrialization, and increased food consumption have affected China’s food security


Food security has been a significant driver behind a number of acquisitions in recent years. As industrialization and population growth have occurred, arable land and water sources have been affected, and this presents problems for the future of the country’s food security. What’s more, the Chinese population is consuming more food per capita than it has in the past, further squeezing the country’s resources. China’s arable land has decreased According to the World Bank, China feeds nearly 20% of the world’s population with less than 10% of the world’s arable… Read more

Agriculture takes center stage again in PRCs 2015 policy portfolio


China once again placed agricultural reform at the top of its policy agenda in its latest No.1 Central Document, released in February. The No.1 Document is released annually and outlines key policy priorities for the year ahead. For the twelfth year running, agricultural reform has taken center stage. The reason for this is simple: as one official puts it, “China has to feed about one fifth of world’s population from less than 10 percent of the arable land.” There are two key issues facing Chinese agriculture. The first is productivity…. Read more

Natural sweeteners market – Stevia


The global diet soda beverage market has been on the decline for the last six years. The last 10 years were hard for producers of diet drinks, especially carbonated ones. In March 2014 the diet soft drink market declined further, by about 7% compared to February’s figures with Coca-Cola recording a 6% decline and PepsiCo hitting almost 7% decline in volume terms. Stevia’s leaves are remarkably 300 times sweeter than plain white sugar while containing no calories, has been heralded as the answer to changing diet habits. Global stevia sales… Read more

Nothing fishy about the global aquaculture industry’s performance


Overfishing across the world’s oceans is becoming an increasingly serious problem, causing fish stocks around the globe to become depleted. Furthermore, fishing fleets are estimated to be two to three times larger than is necessary, causing further unsustainability in fish stocks. Fishing rights disputes have also become increasingly common; as a result aquaculture is becoming increasingly important as a solution to sustainability in the fish industry. This is reflected in the global aquaculture industry’s growth of 5.4% in 2013, to reach a value of $121 billion (with almost 60 million… Read more

Industry Analysis – Food Retail


Introduction Despite the financial differentiation of wealth in the continents the food retail industry is almost equally spread between Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. This is due to food production surpluses in North America, Australia and Western Europe that the global food market is close to equilibrium. The global food retail industry grew by with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% over last five years, to reach a value in excess of $5.5tn. The greater amount of food is being sold by Supermarkets and Hypermarkets, with the distribution share of… Read more

Agrochemical majors hit by EU’s neonicotinoid ban


On 29 April 2013, the European Union voted on the fate of neonicotinoid pesticides. Although there was insufficient support for a total ban, the EU Commission is to impose a two-year restriction on their use, which could begin as soon as July this year. Under the new rules, farmers will only be able to use these pesticides on winter wheat and crops that are unattractive to bees. Countries such as the UK, which had argued against the ban, will not be able to opt out. The reason for the restrictions… Read more

Is a Public Preference for Cheap Food Behind the Horsemeat Scandal?


On January 16th, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said beef burgers with traces of equine DNA were being supplied by subsidiaries of the ABP Food Group. One product was found to be classed as 29% horse. The finding resulted in ten million burgers being taken off the shelves of retailers including Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, and Iceland. Over the next week, Burger King switched supplier from ABP Food Group as a precautionary measure, while Sainsbury’s, Asda, and the Co-op removed some frozen products from their shelves, though none were found… Read more

Benecol Case Study: A Leader in Cholesterol-Reducing Food


Benecol is a brand licensed by Finnish company, Raisio Group. Branded products include a range of cholesterol-lowering food goods such as fat spreads, yogurts, milk, bread, and soy drinks. Benecol has become one of the market leaders in cholesterol-reducing foods. Benecol was developed after Raisio Group was approached by a Finnish university, which was looking into the use of plant stanols, a class of compounds derived from the phytosterols found in many plants, as a way to combat high cholesterol levels amongst the Finnish population. Benecol margarine was introduced to… Read more

The global Agricultural Machinery market reached a value of $61.7 billion in 2011

  Despite continuing financial and economic uncertainty impacting the global economy, agricultural machinery achieved recovery in 2011, with both developed and developing nations posting a strong recovery. Volumes of sales continued to increase, and levels have already fully recovered from the 2009 decline. Industry Figures The global market expanded by 11.9% in 2011, to reach a value of $61.7 billion, indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9% in the period 2007-2011. Growth in this period was primarily driven by Asia-Pacific and Europe, who achieved the largest CAGRs in… Read more

Western economies particularly Eastern Europe suffer a severe reduction in cereal crop value

  Due in part to the global recession and detrimental weather conditions, the cereal crops market experienced a downturn in value for the 2009 – 2010 period. Production has recovered marginally in recent years however, resulting in a low but steady increase in market value. Industry figures The global cereal crops market grew by 1.6% in 2011, to reach a value of $430.6 billion, representing a compound annual rate of change of -1.1% for the period spanning 2007-2011. Growth was primarily driven by regions of expansion in Asia-Pacific, as western… Read more