Latest Book

Howard, Philip H. Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? London: Bloomsbury Academic (February 25, 2016). Nearly every day brings news of another merger or acquisition involving the companies that control our food supply. Just how concentrated has this system become? At almost every key stage of the food system, four firms alone control 40% or more of the market, a … Continue reading Latest Book

Visualizing Fair Trade Coffee

The fair trade certification has entered a period of major change. The recent departure of Fair Trade USA from the international certification system led by Fair Trade International (formerly FLO), and its decision to develop separate US standards that permit certification of plantation-produced coffee, cocoa, and other crops, has thrown the meaning of the US fair trade label into question. Continue reading Visualizing Fair Trade Coffee

The Availability of Michigan-Produced Wines in Southern Michigan Retail Locations

The wine industry is important to the state of Michigan. In 2005, the wine industry in Michigan added $286 million to the state’s economy. The state is the ninth largest producer of wine grapes in the country and the fourteenth largest producer of wine. The number of wineries in Michigan, as well as the total acreage of wine grapes has steadily increased since the 1970s. Continue reading The Availability of Michigan-Produced Wines in Southern Michigan Retail Locations

Organic Farm Concentration

Each cell in these “treemaps” represents a single farm, and its size is proportional to the sales or acreage category to which it belongs. Caution should be used in interpreting these graphics because the top categories are truncated (i.e. a farm with $10 million in sales is shown as the same size as a farm with $1 million in sales), and commodities vary substantially in market value and acreage requirements. Continue reading Organic Farm Concentration

Organic Distribution & Retail Structure

The chart above is based on data from the Organic Trade Association. Sales of organic food have increased approximately 20% annually since 1990. The Organic Agriculture Centre notes similar trends in Canada and conservatively estimates annual sales of at least C$1 billion in 2006. Mass market channels accounted for 46% of all organic foods sold in the US in 2005. An increasing number of supermarkets, … Continue reading Organic Distribution & Retail Structure

Retail Food Access in Lansing, Michigan

This image shows maps of pedestrian access to six different produce items in Lansing, Michigan. It is from the following article: Goldsberry, Kirk, Chris S. Duvall, Philip H. Howard & Joshua E. Stevens. 2010. Visualizing Nutritional Terrain: A Geospatial Analysis of Pedestrian Produce Accessibility in Lansing, Michigan, USA. Geocarto International, 25(6), 485-499. Continue reading Retail Food Access in Lansing, Michigan