The big five companies that control the world's grain trade


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The Independent Online


ADM (Archer Daniels Midland)

US-based corporation operating in 75 countries. Runs 265 processing plants converting corn, wheat and cocoa into food and animal feed and for energy.


Founded in the Netherlands in 1818, now with its headquarters in New York state. Employs 35,000 people in 40 countries, processing oilseeds, wheat, corn and sugar cane.


Based in the United States, a 145-year-old company employing 142,000 people in 65 countries. Distributes grain and oilseeds.

Glencore International

Anglo-Swiss multinational has about one-tenth of the grain market. Also distributes oilseeds and sugar.

Louis Dreyfus

French company founded in 1851, now operates in more than 50 countries. Transports 70m tons of food a year.