Dr. Phil Howard, the creator of the popular Who Owns Organics infographic, updated his work on corporate consolidation in the global seed industry in December 2018.
The graphic below shows ownership changes occurring from 1996, when the top three corporations in the global seed industry controlled 22% of the industry, to 2018. Note that the size of the largest circles are proportional to global seed sales, which are dominated by Bayer and Corteva.
In recent years, the “Big 6” agrichemical/seed firms have combined into the “Big 4”:
- Dow and DuPont merged in 2015 and then divided into three companies, including Corteva
- Chemchina acquired Syngenta
- Bayer acquired Monsanto
- Bayer’s seed divisions were sold to BASF
These four firms now control an estimated 60+% of global proprietary seed sales.
China’s ChemChina and Longping High-Tech are now ranked in the top ten in global seed sales. Both firms are planning more acquisitions in the near-term.
Dr. Phil Howard is an Associate Professor at Michigan State. He teaches in the University’s Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies program. Dr. Howard provides additional interesting information on the structure of the organic and food industry at his site.