Fed by Trade
The world is fed by trade, pure and simple
It’s just a fact that some areas of the world can produce certain crops and livestock more efficiently than other areas. An Iowa farmer’s soy crop might end up in China, but the coffee in her breakfast mug probably came from Colombia, sweetened with sugar from Mexico.
Moreover, the purchase of that farmer’s soy provided her with a job and an income, just as the coffee and sugar provided those things at various points along the trade supply chain to the people who grew, processed, marketed and retailed the coffee and sugar that ended up in that cup.
Trade is everywhere, just below the surface, in most of the goods we use and consume every day.
Cargill’s beef processing plant in Schuyler, Neb., with its 2,200 employees, for example, owes its existence to trade. It would not be processing 5,000 head of cattle day—raised and sold by U.S. farmers and ranchers—if not for the customers in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Asian nations who purchase that beef.
And on the other side of the world, the Cargill Protein Group’s sales teams who work in those countries would not be employed catering to Asian consumers’ growing demand for U.S. beef.
The fact is agricultural trade transforms beef into more than just food; it transforms that traded beef into opportunities—the opportunity to raise and process a high-quality product for a demanding international market, and the opportunity to sell and consume that product in a region where it cannot be efficiently produced.