A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

The American pork industry, a new national security issue

July 1st, 2013

Operating in France through the Cochonou and Justin Bridou brands, Smithfield Foods of the U.S.–– the world’s largest pork producer and processor––might be taken over by Shuanghui International Holdings of China. The $4.7 billion deal will be the biggest ever acquisition of an American firm by a Chinese concern. When the transaction is completed in the second half of 2013, Smithfield Foods will become a Shuanghui International Holdings subsidiary.

With the objective to gain a better supply––the deal involves exporting American hogs and not the reverse––and win global markets, Shuanghui substantiates China’s inclination to acquire strategic assets, whether they concern land or businesses, especially agribusiness operations. For the American side, the transaction specially avoids dismantling the firm, as was requested by the majority shareholder.

If no other offer tops the Chinese bid, Shuanghui should get an approval from the American authorities. Yet, the transaction sparks concerns among some U.S. lawmakers and raises issues of food safety, as stated by Senator Debbie Stabenow, who currently chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

The national agencies overseeing the merger––including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)––“must take China’s and Shuanghui’s troubling track record on food safety into account and do everything in their power to ensure our national security and the health of our families is not jeopardized” said Senator Stabenow in a statement.

Beyond the economic and trade issues, the Americans’ deep-rooted fear of “Chinese investors” (health scandals and industrial espionage among others), and the defense of American businesses in the name of national security, the acquisition is generating an outcry of protest by American public opinion. Once again, it attests to the importance of agriculture and agro-food as major strategic stakes in the U.S., since food security is considered an integral part of “the nation’s vital interests”. As a result, protecting farmers and consumers from the exogenous and endogenous risks threatening this specific and strategic sector becomes a crucial issue.

On behalf of political independence and international influence and in the name of the food safety imperative, the European Union must also deal with these issues, which are part of the CAP’s founding missions. Yet in view of recent the European strategies for agriculture, Europe seems to have given up…
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Paris, 25 June 2019