In agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, agribusiness is a generic term for the various business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

es involved in food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 production, including farming and contract farming
Contract farming
Contract farming is agricultural production carried out according to an agreement between a buyer and farmers, which establishes conditions for the production and marketing of a farm product or products. Typically, the farmer agrees to provide established quantities of a specific agricultural...

, seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

 supply, agrichemical
Agrochemical , a contraction of agricultural chemical, is a generic term for the various chemical products used in agriculture. In most cases, agrichemical refers to the broad range of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides...

s, farm machinery
Agricultural machinery
Agricultural machinery is machinery used in the operation of an agricultural area or farm.-Hand tools:The first person to turn from the hunting and gathering lifestyle to farming probably did so by using his bare hands, and perhaps some sticks or stones. Tools such as knives, scythes, and wooden...

, wholesale
Wholesaling, jobbing, or distributing is defined as the sale of goods or merchandise to retailers, to industrial, commercial, institutional, or other professional business users, or to other wholesalers and related subordinated services...

 and distribution, processing, marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

, and retail
Retail consists of the sale of physical goods or merchandise from a fixed location, such as a department store, boutique or kiosk, or by mail, in small or individual lots for direct consumption by the purchaser. Retailing may include subordinated services, such as delivery. Purchasers may be...



The term has two distinctly different connotations depending on context.
Within the agriculture industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, agribusiness is widely used simply as a convenient portmanteau of agriculture and business, referring to the range of activities and disciplines encompassed by modern food production. There are academic degrees in and departments of agribusiness, agribusiness trade associations, agribusiness publications, and so forth, worldwide. Here, the term is only descriptive, and is synonymous in the broadest sense with food industry
Food industry
The food production is a complex, global collective of diverse businesses that together supply much of the food energy consumed by the world population...

. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, for example, operates a section devoted to Agribusiness Development, which seeks to promote food industry growth in the Third World.
Corporate farming
Among critics of large-scale, industrialized, vertically integrated
Vertical integration
In microeconomics and management, the term vertical integration describes a style of management control. Vertically integrated companies in a supply chain are united through a common owner. Usually each member of the supply chain produces a different product or service, and the products combine to...

 food production, the term agribusiness is used negatively, synonymous with corporate farming
Corporate farming
Corporate farming is a term that describes the business of agriculture, specifically, what is seen by some as the practices of would-be megacorporations involved in food production on a very large scale...

. As such, it is often contrasted with smaller family-owned farms
Family farm
A family farm is a farm owned and operated by a family, and often passed down from generation to generation. It is the basic unit of the mostly agricultural economy of much of human history and continues to be so in developing nations...

. Negative connotations are also derived from the negative associations of "business" and "corporations" by critics of capitalism or corporate excess. As concern over global warming intensifies, biofuels derived from food crops quickly emerged as a practical answer to the energy crisis. Adding corn ethanol
Corn ethanol
Corn ethanol is ethanol produced from corn as a biomass through industrial fermentation, chemical processing and distillation. Corn is the main feedstock used for producing ethanol fuel in the United States and it is mainly used as an oxygenate to gasoline in the form of low-level blends, and to a...

 to gasoline or using palm oil for biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

 makes the fuel burn more cleanly, stretches oil supplies, and perhaps most attractive to some politicians, provides a nice boost to big agribusiness. In Europe and in the US, increasing biofuels was mandated by law. Rising fuel costs are increasingly adding financial burdens on the day-to-day running of agricultural companies.


Examples of agribusinesses include Monsanto
The Monsanto Company is a US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed in the "Roundup" brand of herbicides, and in other brands...

, seed and agrichemical producer; ADM
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

, grain transport and processing; John Deere
John Deere
John Deere was an American blacksmith and manufacturer who founded Deere & Company, one of the largest and leading agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers in the world...

, farm machinery producer; Ocean Spray
Ocean Spray (cooperative)
Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative of growers of cranberries and grapefruit headquartered in Lakeville/Middleborough, Massachusetts. It currently has over 600 member growers . The cooperative employs about 2,000 people, with sales of $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2005...

, farmer's cooperative; and Purina Farms, agritourism
Agritourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally-based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Agritourism has different definitions in different parts of the world, and sometimes refers specifically to farm stays, as in Italy...


Studies and reports

To promote exports of food products, many government agencies publish on the web economic studies and reports categorized by product and country. Among these agencies include four of the largest exporters of food products, such as the FAS
Foreign Agricultural Service
The Foreign Agricultural Service is the foreign affairs agency with primary responsibility for the United States Department of Agriculture's overseas programs—market development, international trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection of statistics and market information...

 of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, also referred to as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada , is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for policies governing agriculture production, farming income, research and development, inspection, and the regulation of animals...

 (AAFC), Austrade, and NZTE . The Federation of International Trade Associations
Federation of International Trade Associations
The Federation of International Trade Associations based in Reston, Virginia and New York, New York USA was founded in 1984. It fosters international trade by seeking to strengthen the role of associations in the United States, Mexico and Canada...

 publishes studies and reports by FAS and AAFC, as well as other non-governmental organizations on its website is run by FITA Online, the online global trade services division of the Federation of International Trade Associations , together with partners the United States Commercial Service, UK Trade & Investment, Hong Kong Trade Development Council , ThomasNet,, Kompass and...


See also

  • Agrarian law
    Agrarian law
    Agrarian laws were laws among the Romans regulating the division of the public lands, or ager publicus.There existed three types of land in ancient Rome: private land, common pasture, and public land...

  • Agrarian reform
    Agrarian reform
    Agrarian reform can refer either, narrowly, to government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of agricultural land or, broadly, to an overall redirection of the agrarian system of the country, which often includes land reform measures. Agrarian reform can include credit measures,...

  • Agricultural Marketing
    Agricultural marketing
    Agricultural marketing covers the services involved in moving an agricultural product from the farm to the consumer. Numerous interconnected activities are involved in doing this, such as planning production, growing and harvesting, grading, packing, transport, storage, agro- and food processing,...

  • Biofuel
    Biofuel is a type of fuel whose energy is derived from biological carbon fixation. Biofuels include fuels derived from biomass conversion, as well as solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases...

  • Contract farming
    Contract farming
    Contract farming is agricultural production carried out according to an agreement between a buyer and farmers, which establishes conditions for the production and marketing of a farm product or products. Typically, the farmer agrees to provide established quantities of a specific agricultural...

  • Energy crop
    Energy crop
    An energy crop is a plant grown as a low cost and low maintenance harvest used to make biofuels, or combusted for its energy content to generate electricity or heat. Energy crops are generally categorized as woody or herbaceous ....

  • Factory farming
    Factory farming
    Factory farming is a term referring to the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption...

  • Industrial agriculture
    Industrial agriculture
    Industrial farming is a form of modern farming that refers to the industrialized production of livestock, poultry, fish, and crops. The methods of industrial agriculture are technoscientific, economic, and political...

  • Land banking
    Land banking
    Land banking is the practice of purchasing raw land with the intent to hold on to it until such a time as it is profitable to sell it on to others for more than was initially paid...

  • List of environment topics

External links

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