McCain Foods, Canada: The Political Economy of Monopoly
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This chapter deals with McCain Foods Ltd., a potato processor in New Brunswick, Canada. The case is of interest for a variety of reasons. First, agribusiness in the St. John valley of New Brunswick is a very complete ‘system’ which affects virtually every aspect of life in the area. McCain has been here for some twenty-five years, time enough to produce long-term effects on farming practices and community life. Furthermore, McCain has used this time to consolidate and diversify its activities in the area to the extent that it now forms a classic case of monopoly. Most contract farming situations involve some degree of monopoly, with a multitude of growers facing at most a couple of firms. The McCain case is a ‘textbook example’ which shows what happens when such concentration is carried to the extreme.
KeywordsSmall Farmer Provincial Government Spot Market Fresh Market Potato Industry
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