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Chapter 8 – Industrialization, Corporatization, and Globalization of Animal Agriculture Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory_farming

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Chapter 8 – Industrialization,

Corporatization, and Globalization

of Animal Agriculture

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factory_farming

Chapter 8 – Industrialization, Corporatization, and Globalization of Animal Agriculture

• Learning Objectives: 1) To discuss the nature of intensive animal production

2) To discuss the industrialization, corporate control, and globalization of poultry production, and to consider whether other types of animal production may follow the lead of poultry to industrialization

3) To consider the risks and benefits of corporate swine production

4) To consider the validity of societal concerns about “factory farming”

I. INTENSIVE (INDUSTRIAL) ANIMAL PRODUCTION

(FACTORY FARMING)

II. INDUSTRIALIZATION, CORPORATIZATION, AND

GLOBALIZATION OF POULTRY PRODUCTION

III. INDUSTRIAL SWINE PRODUCTION

IV. INDUSTRIALIZATION OF OTHER TYPES OF ANIMAL

PRODUCTION

V. ALTERNATIVES TO FACTORY FARMING

VI. INDUSTRIAL LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION,

BIOTERRORISM, AND NATURAL DISASTERS

VII. GLOBALIZATION: THE END OF AMERICAN

AGRICULTURE?

VIII. AMISH, MENNONITES, AND HUTTERITES: THE LAST

OF THE MOHICANS OF NORTH AMERICAN

AGRICULTURE

CONCLUSIONS

Chapter Outline:

INTRODUCTION

• Livestock production is increasingly under intense scrutiny by the general public of the U.S., Europe, and most other industrialized countries.

• Ultimately, the “correct” answer to these debates is a matter of personal choice.

• If public opinion is such that the demand for animal products decreases, there will be consequences for producers.

• These societal concerns are of vital interest to all segments of animal (and plant) agriculture, and are worthy of intensive examination and discussion.

• Cheeke: Public concern about the ethics of so-called “factory farming” (the public notion that intensive, large-scale animal production systems is cruel and inhumane) is a precipitating factor in causing people to be “turned off” by animal agriculture. Cheeke believes this is connected to issues over animals rights and welfare.

I. INTENSIVE (INDUSTRIAL) ANIMAL PRODUCTION (FACTORY FARMING)

• Increased animal productivity and efficiency of food production, resulting in lower food prices for consumers, has come with a hidden cost to society: – Animals viewed as “machines”, their welfare and well-

being are compromised

– Animals are kept under “inhumane conditions”

– Animals are “fed” hormones, additives, and other chemicals that adversely affect their well-being and may affect the safety of animal products to human health

– Multinational agribusiness companies have driven the family farm out of business

– Short-term profits are emphasized at the expense of animal welfare, soil fertility, and sustainability

I. INTENSIVE (INDUSTRIAL) ANIMAL PRODUCTION (FACTORY FARMING)

• Advantages for large-scale, industrial rearing of livestock: 1. Animal welfare: large corporations can design and construct optimal animal

housing conditions and can have veterinary services on site

2. Feeding and nutrition: the feeding program can be closely monitored by staff nutritionists; the corporation has total control over feed quality

3. Worker benefits: employees can be paid adequate salaries, have regular work hours and vacations, have medical insurance and retirement programs, have drug and alcohol abuse counseling programs

4. Pollution control: large corporations can afford waste disposal treatment to ensure that air and water pollution are avoided

5. Product quality: with total control of genetic, nutrition, and health programs, large farms can produce consistent, uniform, high quality, low-cost products

• Disadvantages are difficult to document the concerns of critics.

I. INTENSIVE (INDUSTRIAL) ANIMAL PRODUCTION (FACTORY FARMING)

• Present Trends: 1. Consumers enjoys lower food prices and the higher variety than the traditional family–owned, corner grocery store 2. Niche-market opportunities for consumers who desire food from small farms 3. The trend to ever-increasing intensification of livestock is expected to increase because of economic efficiencies,

unless blocked by legislation 4. Animal rights movement could effectively curtail certain livestock management practices (actually it already has) 5. In Europe, confinement rearing of swine/cage rearing of poultry is prohibited 6. Movement of intensive animal operations to states with low human population density and minimal pollution

concerns (removed from animal right and bioterrorism groups)/Squeezed out of some states by urbanization 7. Iowa – promoting the establishment of “livestock enterprise zones” 8. Large company dependency (Monsanto: Roundup-resistant corn/soybeans)

• Disadvantages are difficult to document the concerns.

II. INDUSTRIALIZATION, CORPORATIZATION, AND GLOBALIZATION OF POULTRY PRODUCTION

• Poultry production: Particularly for meat, has become an industrial

process with just a handful of companies control nearly 100% of meat bird production. The “Industrialization” model:

1. Arkansas – Factors of low feed and labor costs, less environmental regulations, friendly business climate (tax incentives)

2. Vertical integration – company owns or controls all production components 3. Use of “contract growers” who provide housing, equipment, labor, and management 4. The egg production business is even more industrialized (heavy use of mechanization)

• Disadvantages are difficult to document the concerns.

II. INDUSTRIALIZATION, CORPORATIZATION, AND GLOBALIZATION OF POULTRY PRODUCTION

• Biological attributes of industrialized egg production:

1. Reproduction – wide-scale AI and scheduled artificial incubation of eggs 2. Genetics and Selection – short-cycle species; intense selection; overselection? 3. Nutrition – Ideally suited for grain-based diets; highest FE; dry feces 4. Management and Production Flexibility – 5-week production cycle; Flexibility? 5. Animal Behavior – High stocking density; Adapted to confinement 6. Low Labor Requirements – Low - highly automated and mechanized 7. Marketing Advantages – Least expensive meat; Tasteless?; Amorphous? 8. Uniformity of Product – Extreme genetic uniformity; Consistent product 9. Potential for Globalization – “The poultry industry has become industrialized on a global scale… and will likely

follow the Nike shoe model”.

• Disadvantages are difficult to document the concerns.

II. INDUSTRIALIZATION, CORPORATIZATION, AND GLOBALIZATION OF POULTRY PRODUCTION

• Societal and other concerns of industrial poultry production

– If present trends continue, poultry will capture the bulk of the U.S. and world meat market. However, the industrial poultry production system has many critics. Also, it is “Treasonous” for an animal scientist to express sympathy for such societal concerns, as follows:

1. “Factory farming” is cruel and inhumane

2. Industrial poultry production has adverse social effects.

What are these?

3. Concentration of large poultry and livestock numbers

causes environmental pollution

4. The high efficiency may be mitigated by the high

(externalized) societal costs

5. Poultry meat production may eventually eliminate the

competition. “Single profit center”?

6. Profound impacts on the academic discipline of poultry

science – an extinct species?

7. Connection between major poultry corporations and

political influence and clout

III. INDUSTRIAL SWINE PRODUCTION

• While the industrialization of the poultry industry was hardly noticed, the swine industry has had a much rockier road – Mega-farms with 100,000 sows producing 2 million market hogs a year are

constantly in the news. Why?

• Major source of air and water pollution

• Odor from swine is highly objectionable (contains >200 compounds) and can cause negative mood changes and may result in immune system dysfunction. Deaths due to hydrogen sulfide exposure have been reported. Also, studies showing permanent lesions of the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract have been reported.

– NC case: 2nd rank state, some negative points by Thu and Durrenberger (1998):

1. Disruption of rural communities by the overpowering stench

2. Drastic drop in property values

3. Squeezing out small family-operated swine farms

4. Loss of jobs and local income

5. Political gerrymandering?

6. Immense water pollution (e.g., New River case)

III. INDUSTRIAL SWINE PRODUCTION

• Pollution of estuaries, streams and rivers, even oceans by hog wastes is a serious matter. Extensive “fish kills” have resulted. In NC there was a 2-year moratorium on further construction of large swine operations because of the devastation associated with Hurricane Floyd. The clean-up costs were covered by taxpayers through emergency state and federal disaster aid!

• According to Honeyman (1996): “A sustainable swine production system should maintain or enhance the environment and the resource base; the quality of life for producers, pork consumers, and society as a whole; the profit level of producers; and the quality of pork produced.

• “Environmental injustice”?

• Caneff (1993) states that the animal rights threat may be the salvation of family farming and forming alliances with environmentalists.

• Some experts predict that the next energy crisis, which as an economic shock wave can cause an industrial implosion, could make hog mega-factories “fold like a house of cards”.

• Some swine mega-farms are now relocating (escaping) to other countries. Why?

• “Factory Hog Farms Stirring Controversy article - link

III. INDUSTRIAL SWINE PRODUCTION

IV. INDUSTRIALIZATION OF OTHER TYPES OF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

• Dairy Cattle – Can also be raised under intensive production systems (e.g., ~30,000 cows on one farm in Fair Oaks, IN). Advantages center around economies of scale. Less concerns by animal rights than cage-reared chickens.

• Beef Cattle – Both extensive (cow-calf) and intensive (feedlot) production systems. However, in feedlots animals have more freedom of movement and normal behavioral activities than confined poultry and swine. The U.S. beef industry has problems producing a uniform quality meat product. Why? Swick and Cremer (2000): Beef was king before 1970. Now a fragmented industry that uses antiquated methods that favor a fat product.

IV. INDUSTRIALIZATION OF OTHER TYPES OF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

• Sheep – Largely pasture- or range-based. “Green” lamb environmental plug.

• Aquaculture – A traditional activity in Asia (China). Now being industrialized in many countries (prawns and shrimp, salmon, tilapia, trout). An aquatic version of industrial broiler production (e.g., salmon in pen nets). Several major environmental concerns. “Genetic pollution”. May at least offset the rate of overfishing of the oceans.

V. ALTERNATIVES TO FACTORY FARMING

• Some countries have opposed the industrial animal production model

Case Study - Sweden:

1. Priority is safe food

2. Focus on animal welfare

3. Bans use of antibiotics

4. No growth promotants or hormones

5. Promotes sustainability – preserving farmland and natural areas while protecting the environment

6. Preserve the “integrity of old-fashioned, family farm-oriented agriculture”

• Europe – A growing public perception that major disasters (Mad Cow and Foot and Mouth diseases) have been the direct consequence of factory farming and the centralized food distribution system

• European Union – Ban on U.S. beef. Why? Also ban on GMO crops.

V. ALTERNATIVES TO FACTORY FARMING

• Alternatives – Free-range poultry, Pastured pork, Grassfed beef, Grain-free dairy farms? Advantages and Disadvantages? Are they economically viable according to Cheeke?

VI. INDUSTRIAL LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION, BIOTERRORISM, AND NATURAL DISASTERS

• CAFO’s are easy targets (“sitting ducks”) for bioterrorists (“agroterrorism”). How so? Are we prepared? Advantages of CAFO’s? Also vulnerable to natural disasters and accidents (fire). 1. Anthrax

2. H1N1 virus

3. Brucellosis

4. Prion proteins

• The End of Agriculture in the American Portfolio by Steven Blank (Ag. Economist, UC-Davis) advocates that U.S. no longer needs farmers! He contends that Prices for food are now determined globally, but Costs are determined locally.

• China - #1 producer and exporter of apples has resulted in the bulldozing of apple orchards in Washington state.

• Major supermarket chains now buy the cheapest food, regardless of source (M. Pollan – typical American meal reflects 1500 miles of food travel!) Sustainable?

VII. GLOBALIZATION: THE END OF AMERICAN

AGRICULTURE?

• “Economic Food Chain” (Fig. 8-10):

• 4 – Highly educated society (knowledge base) – U.S., Japan, Europe

• 3 – SE Asia producing tv’s, cameras, computers, DVD players, etc.

• 2 – U.S. in 18-19th centuries (Industrial Revolution)

• 1 – LDC’s, peasant farmers

• Fate of U.S. Farmland – Golf courses, nurseries, turf farms (Blank) and equine facilities (Cheeke)

VII. GLOBALIZATION: THE END OF AMERICAN

AGRICULTURE?

• Era of Fast-food Restaurants. Why? – Close to consumer

– Regional bakeries

– Wheat, beef and cheese can be imported at the cheapest cost and easily stored

– Veggies imported fresh (Chile and Mexico) at the cheapest cost

• American Agriculture continues to be heavily subsidized. Why? Will the public eventually protest this? Farming requires large amounts of capital. Can bankers continue to lend?

• Is America willing to place their food security in the hands of other countries?

• Alternative: Development of local, niche markets. “Buy Local”!

VII. GLOBALIZATION: THE END OF AMERICAN

AGRICULTURE?

VIII. AMISH, MENNONITES, AND HUTTERITES: THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS OF NORTH AMERICAN AGRICULTURE

• Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites – Are thriving as farmers. Their high work ethic, modest lifestyles, strong environmental awareness, etc., is attracting a huge following in U.S. Livestock production is a major component.

CONCLUSIONS

• World Food Production: – Global trend is towards the reduction of tariffs and subsidies

(“fair trade agreements”)

– Growing demand for meat from countries with rising

economies (likely met by poultry meats and to a lesser extent by pork)

– Industrial animal production – probably will not be met with strong opposition by animal rights and environmental groups as these corporations are translocated “below the border”, which will likely be supported by multinational poultry and swine companies based in N.A./Europe

– This trend dovetails very nicely with fast-food restaurant systems (Who is Eric Schlosser?)