Global Perspectives

Let’s take a ride in the fast lane and gain some global insight concerning issues and trends that may influence your bottom line. These are based upon my travels and attendance at the International Home Delivery Conference in Orlando and several bankers’ conferences.

The following is the share of gross farm income that comes from support programs to agriculture:

  • Canada: 22%
  • European Union: 34%
  • New Zealand: 20%
  • Australia: 4%
  • Brazil: 3%
  • United States: 17%
Global Points
  • Brazil is growing its global share of agriculture markets first to China, Russia and Japan with the Asian alliances and secondly to the European market.
  • Poultry consumption is starting to decline in some areas of the world. (6% decline in Italy)
  • World sugar price is at an 11 year high due to ethanol production

Special points

  • What makes a food and fiber product special and value added is it usually involves a story.
  • When something becomes a commodity, people assign less value to it.
  • McDonalds senses growing consumer distrust of production methods and safeguards in the beef industry.
  • Small companies have a much better ability to place personality in their brands.
  • Australia has implemented a nationwide tagging program for beef.
  • The average grain farm down under is 7,000 acres.
  • Australia has privatized its national ag and food strategy. There are government supports, but the country has freed its strategy from the usual special interest groups and slow pace of government policy.

The Road Warrior of Agriculture

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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