Apr 30, 2020 - Health

Big Food is built to outlast smaller competitors

In this image, a burger is flipped

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Large farms, food processors and restaurant operators have much brighter prospects than their smaller counterparts grappling with the coronavirus crisis.

The big picture: They have access to capital markets, including the trillions of dollars being injected into the fixed-income markets by the Federal Reserve.

  • The top three meat processors — Tyson Foods, JBS and Cargill — account for about ⅔ of the market and therefore count as being too big to fail. Hence President Trump's decision to invoke the Defense Production Act to keep their facilities running.
  • Big farms have a bright future selling to China, which has promised to buy more than $40 billion of U.S. agricultural goods and which is facing a severe domestic pork shortage.

The bottom line: The total amount that we eat isn't going down. If the food we're eating isn't coming from small farmers, it's coming from large ones.

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