The Global Monopolists: The Food Cartels and their Trade Control

Freem01

The idea that our economy is ruled by monopolists will surprise many of you. The shelves of our stores bulge with goodies. The digital media world has dissolved into a chaotic free – for – all. Yet in the generation since 1981, when we all but stopped enforcing our antimonopoly laws, a very small number of people have consolidated control over just about every activity in the United States…

—Barry C. Lynn, Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economy of Destruction

…this interlocked self-perpetuating syndicate decides who eats and who doesn’t, who lives and who dies. It is a virtual spider web of financial, political, economic and industry interests with the Venetian ultramontane fondi model at the center. These people own and manage the affairs of an interlocking corporate apparatus that dominates choke points within the global economy, especially finance, insurance, raw materials, transportation, and consumer goods.

—Daniel Estulin

Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.

—a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin

Sometime in the mid-1970’s, Kissinger, a life-long practitioner of “Balance of Power” geopolitics and a man with more than a fair share of conspiracies under his belt, allegedly declared his blueprint for world domination: “Control the oil and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.”

—William F. Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

The threat of disruption to the circulation of stuff has become such a profound concern to governments and corporations in recent years that it has prompted the creation of an entire architecture of security that aims to govern global spaces of flow. This new framework of security— supply chain security— relies on a range of new forms of transnational regulation, border management, data collection, surveillance, and labor discipline, as well as naval missions and aerial bombing. In fact, to meaningfully capture the social life of circulation, we would have to consider not only disruption to the system but the assembly of infrastructure and architecture achieved through land grabs, military actions, and dispossessions that are often the literal and figurative grounds for new logistics spaces.

—Deborah Cowen,  The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade

The Windsor-led oligarchy has built up a single, integrated raw materials cartel, with three divisions—energy, raw materials and minerals, and increasingly scarce food supplies.The firms within each cartel group are listed. While they maintain the legal fiction of being different corporate organizations, in reality this is one interlocking syndicate, with a common purpose and multiple overlapping boards of directors. The Windsor-centered oligarchy owns these cartels, and they are the instruments of power of the oligarchy, accumulated over centuries, for breaking nations’ sovereignty.

The control works as follows: The oligarchy has developed four regions to be the principal exporters of almost every type of food; the oligarchy has historically acquired top-down control over the food chain in these regions. These four regions are: the United States; the European Union, particularly France and Germany; the British Commonwealth nations of Australia, Canada, the Republic of South Africa, and New Zealand; and Argentina and Brazil in Ibero-America. Through the centuries, the oligarchy has taken control of these regions’ markets, and thus over the world food supply. These four regions have a population of, at most, 900 million people, or 15% of the world’s population. The rest of the world, with 85% of the population—4.7 billion people—is dependent on the food exports from those regions.

The control of food for use as a weapon is an ancient practice. The House of Windsor inherited certain routes and infrastructure. One finds the practice in ancient Babylon/Mesopotamia 4,000 years ago. In Greece, the cults of Apollo, Demeter, and Rhea-Cybele often controlled the shipment of grain and other food stuffs, through the temples. In Imperial Rome, the control of grain became the basis of the empire. Rome was the center. Conquered outlying colonies in Gaul, Brittany, Spain, Sicily, Egypt, North Africa, and the Mediterranean littoral had to ship grain to the noble Roman families, as taxes and tribute. Often the grain tax was greater than the land could bear, and areas of North Africa, for instance, were turned into dust bowls.

The evil city-state of Venice took over grain routes, particularly after the Fourth Crusade (1202-04). The main Venetian thirteenth century trading routes had their eastern termini in Constantinople, the ports of the Oltremare (which were the lands of the crusading States), and Alexandria, Egypt. Goods from these ports were shipped to Venice, and from there made their way up the Po Valley to markets in Lombardy, or over the Alpine passes to the Rhône and into France. Eventually, Venetian trade extended to the Mongol empire in the East.

By the fifteenth century, although Venice was still very much a merchant empire, it had franchised some of its grain and other trade to the powerful Burgundian duchy, whose effective headquarters was Antwerp. This empire, encompassing parts of France, extended from Amsterdam and Belgium to much of present-day Switzerland. From this Venetian-Lombard-Burgundian nexus, each of the food cartel’s six leading grain companies was either founded, or inherited a substantial part of its operations today.

By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British Levant and East India companies had absorbed many of these Venetian operations. In the nineteenth century, the London-based Baltic Mercantile and Shipping Exchange became the world’s leading instrument for contracting for and shipping grain.

The five privately held grain companies were carved out from the centuries-old Mesopotamian-Venetian-Burgundian-Swiss-Amsterdam grain route, which today extends around the world. The Big Five are Cargill, Continental, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge and Born, and André. The Continental Grain Company is run by billionaire Michel Fribourg and his son Paul. Simon Fribourg started the company in 1813 in Arlon, Belgium. He moved the company to Antwerp, and then, in the 1920s, to Paris and London. Today, it has a New York office, along with a strong Swiss-French base.

In 1852, Léopold Louis Dreyfus, who was born in Sierentz, France, established wheat-trading operations in Basel, Switzerland. In this century, except during World War II, Louis Dreyfus has been headquartered in Paris (part of the old Lombard-Burgundian route).

Bunge and Born was founded by the Bunge family from Amsterdam in 1752. The company was eventually moved to Antwerp (today it is technically headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil and the Netherlands Antilles). The André Company was founded by Georges André in Nyon, Switzerland, and today is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Cargill Company, the world’s largest grain company, is based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota suburb of Minnetonka. It was founded by Scotsman William Cargill, in Conover, Iowa in 1865, and has been run, since the 1920s, by the billionaire MacMillan family. But the true nexus of Cargill is in Geneva, Switzerland, where Cargill’s international trading arm, Tradax, Inc., is headquartered, having been established there in 1956 (technically, Tradax is a Panamanian-registered company). Tradax has divisions all around the world, including in Argentina, Germany, and Japan. It is the major source for Cargill’s international trading; Cargill has a lot of money invested in it, and Cargill reaps a large return from Tradax’s operations. Tradax also has partial Swiss ownership. The Lombard, Odier Bank, as well as the Pictet Bank, both old, private and very dirty Swiss banks, own a chunk of Tradax. The principal financier for Tradax is the Geneva-based Crédit Suisse, which is one of the world’s largest money-launderers.

Archer Daniels Midland’s purchase of Töpfer, a Hamburg, Germany-based grain company, vastly increased ADM’s presence in the world grain trade. Töpfer’s trade is situated within the old Venice-Swiss-Amsterdam-Paris routes, and it has extensive business partnerships with the British Crown jewel, the Rothschild Bank.1


  1. Richard Freeman. The Windsors’ Global Food Cartel:Instrument for Starvation. EIR, December 8, 1995.

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