Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
Companies in this industry raise or fatten animals for the purpose of selling animals or animal products. Major companies include Agri Beef, Dairy Farmers of America, Pilgrim's Pride, and Smithfield Foods (all based in the US) as well as JBS (Brazil), Industrias Bachoco (Mexico), and Ingham Enterprises (Australia).
Worldwide, meat production totals more than 330 million tons. Brazil, China, the EU, India, and the US are the largest livestock producers.
The US animal production industry includes more than 1 million farms with combined annual revenue of about $184 billion.
The animal production industry includes feedlot farms that prepare livestock for slaughter but does not include slaughter, processing, or packing operations. The industry includes farms and ranches that earn the majority of their income from raising livestock. A cattle ranch, for example, may compete with farms that raise cattle but get most of their income from crops.
Demand for meat, poultry, and dairy products is driven by domestic food consumption trends. The profitability of individual farms depends on efficient operations. Large companies have advantages in vertically integrated operations and economies of scale. Small operations can compete effectively by supplying local markets, specializing in heritage breeds, or raising humanely treated or hormone-free animals. Hog farming, poultry and egg production, and dairy operations are concentrated industries in the US: the top 20% of companies in each of these three industries account for about 75% of revenue. Cattle ranching and feedlot operations...