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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.

Go deeper: Coronavirus breaks the food supply chain

Go deeper

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

More farmers are declaring bankruptcy as coronavirus upends industry

Aldo Perez of Jacob's Farms restocks corn at a farmers market in Benicia, Calif.. Photo: Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

More farmers are declaring bankruptcy, despite a $7 billion injection from the Department of Agriculture to mitigate losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Farmers found themselves at the center of industries hardest-hit by the crisis as the pandemic slashed commodity values, cut off supply chains and closed markets around the globe.

Aug 7, 2020 - Health

Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production

Bill and Melinda Gates at the Lincoln Center in September 2018. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is putting $150 million into an effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines to low-income countries in 2021, global vaccination alliance Gavi announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Poorer countries have been most affected by the pandemic's disruption for noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization reports. Even in wealthy countries like the U.S., low-income people are among the most likely to become seriously ill if infected with the virus, along with minority populations.