In 1979, Dan Morgan, a journalist with the Washington Post, wrote Merchants of Grain, a definitive history of the international grain trade. In the 40 years since Dan’s book was published the grain markets have changed almost beyond recognition. So too have the merchants of grain. Once shadowy figures, grain merchants have now come out of the shadows.

Almost everything that you eat or drink today will contain something bought, stored, transported, processed, shipped, distributed or sold by one of the seven giants of the agricultural supply chain. The media often refers to them as the ABCD group of international grain-trading companies, with ABCD standing for ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Dreyfus. The acronym, though, ignores the other three giants of the food supply: Glencore, COFCO International and Wilmar. Together, they handle 50 percent of the international trade in grain and oilseeds.

In this book’s series of exclusive and unprecedented interviews, CEOs and senior traders from these seven giants describe in their own words how the agricultural markets are changing, and how they are adapting to those changes.

This is the inside story of the grain market and of the seven companies at the centre of the world’s food supply.

Available on Amazon


Lessons learnt

A friend of mine recently asked me what I had learned from writing The New Merchants of Grain. A quote from Winston Churchill came to mind. He said, “Writing a book is an adventure to begin with, it is a toy and an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, …

AgriCensus Report

Policy rollback could slash Argentina’s grain production by 60m mt: Ministry Argentina’s potential grains production over the next decade could vary by up to 60 million mt of production, depending on the incoming government’s policies, a study from the country’s agriculture ministry has concluded. The study looked at three possible scenarios that the new government …

Sugar’s New Normal

Last week my daughter and I were honoured to co-chair the 28th ISO Seminar in London. It was a great event as always, well organized and well attended. The ‘War on Sugar’ was omnipresent at the event, centre stage in both the conference and coffee rooms. Some attendees were optimistic that they would eventually win …