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“Food and energy prices are up. In the last six months alone we have had a record all-time high for the price of beef, pork and shrimp. These are the core proteins that emerging market workers depend upon….Onion prices have been known to bring governments down in India. In Brazil tomatoes are the driver of social protests. In China its pork….” ~ Dr. Pippa Malmgren, 2013
By Catherine Austin Fitts
This week on The Solari Report, Harry Blazer continues a conversation with Bill Niman that they began earlier this year, with Bill being Bill Niman – Godfather of Grassfed. This week their focus is on hogs and Bill’s success at raising some of the finest pork in the world. No one knows more about raising the noble pig than Bill and his team. Indeed, Bill’s wife Nicolette is author of Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms.
Because of the popularity of pork in Asia, this food is at the heart of the global focus on feeding a large and growing global population. As the Asian middle class expands, so does the demand for meat and animal protein. As we discussed in our 2016 Annual Wrap Up, Global Harvest, the pressures and politics of food grow ever more serious. Harry and Bill discuss what this means for the farmer and ranchers who attempt to maintain quality and high standards.
For Let’s Go to the Movies, I recommend you watch two videos. One is a PBS report on the 2013 acquisition of Smithfield Foods, the largest pig and pork producer in the world, by the Chinese WH Group. The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in Luohe, Henan Province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland. The second is a recent news report on China’s threats of pork tariffs. These give a sense of the market forces facing hog farmers.
In Money & Markets this week I will discuss the latest in financial and geopolitical news from Sofia where I will attend Wagner’s Ring with Thomas Meyer, having just arrived from five days in Vienna. The best way to understand what is happening in Europe is to be here. I am collecting stories to cover in the Money & Markets Commentary here. Please e-mail or post your questions for Ask Catherine.
Talk to you Thursday!