Bruce Rastetter – Iowa farmer, entrepreneur and ag advisor for Trump transition team says such mergers would mean less competition, fewer options and higher prices for farmers.
Bruce Rastetter on the Big Show: starts at 31:15 mark
Alden, Iowa – January 5, 2017 – The CEO and founder of Iowa-based Summit Agricultural Group, says pending mega-mergers in the agricultural industry threaten farmers worldwide and should serve as a warning for much needed governmental reform. Bruce Rastetter says such mergers will limit competition, stifle innovative research and stunt job growth – and will eventually lead to increased costs for farmers.
The mergers of international agrochemical and seed giants that are pending in 2017 include Bayer AG and Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical, and China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) and Syngenta AG.
“Mergers like this have the potential to put into motion irreversible damage to agriculture,” Rastetter said. “With fewer companies serving agriculture we will see a decline in independent research and development which will result in fewer products available to farmers and the loss of competitive pricing – in the end, the farmer will lose.”
Rastetter, an agriculture advisor for President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, is calling on the new administration to block such mergers and focus on patent reform and governmental de-regulation to spur economic growth in agriculture.
“I’m encouraged by what I hear from the new administration and its plan to curtail the federal government’s over-regulation of agriculture and business – this should include patent licensing, a system that is detrimental to so many companies,” Rastetter said. “These steps, for example, could open the door for smaller independent seed genetic companies to compete and bring innovation and jobs back to the farm economy.”
Rastetter is concerned that if the global mega-mergers gain regulatory approval in 2017, the problems for farmers will be felt around the world for years to come. He knows first-hand the concerns of farmers and agribusinesses internationally. Summit Agricultural Group, in partnership with Brazilian agribusiness, Fiagril, will finalize construction this summer of the first corn-only ethanol production facility in Brazil.
“As a farmer involved in production agriculture in both the United States and Brazil, I have serious reservations about the competitive dynamics that would be created as a result of these mergers,” Rastetter said. “It’s clear that the motivation behind the mergers is to increase prices and production costs for producers. Simply put – this would be bad for every farmer on the planet.”
To counter the threat that global mega-mergers could have on agriculture, Rastetter encourages those impacted to voice their concerns to their elected officials – from individual producers to commodity groups, from agribusinesses to farming communities.
“As evidenced in the recent elections, rural America has a powerful voice,” Rastetter said. “It’s important that it’s heard again.”