What Mainstream Food/Ag has in store for us!

Open seminar with Professor Lawrence (Larry) Busch, Michigan State University, USA


The agrifood sector globally is undergoing profound technical and organizational change. Whereas most large agrifood companies were independent as little as 20 years ago, today the Supply Chain Captains run the show. They are not particularly innovative, but wealthy chain members are willing and able to purchase innovations they desire. They use and are likely to continue to use these innovations to further appropriation and substitution of farm activities. Among the many technical changes are the production of in vitro meat and the substitution of plant products for meat. However, climate change poses major problems for the meat sector. In particular, the feed conversion ratios for pork, lamb and especially beef are poor relative to poultry. Plant proteins are also likely to decrease the market share of meats. In addition, meat production also produces unwanted methane. Producers of meat substitutes may eventually mimic meats at lower prices. New regulations on the use of agricultural chemicals (think: glyphosate) will likely raise feed prices as well. Moreover, this is occurring in the midst of a massive shift in the structure of the retail sector. If we cannot predict the future, we can be assured that the agrifood system of the future will be quite different from what we have today.


The seminar is open to all.
There is limited seating and limited parking.