Chris Serres a writer for the Star Tribune shows how the company is effected by food prices.
The giant food and agricultural company, along with others in the industry, became a corporate punching bag for human rights groups, academics and world leaders looking to assess blame for the worst food crisis since World War II.
The president of the United Nations General Assembly went so far as to accuse the industry of subordinating the "essential purpose of food, which is to nourish people."
In every crisis, there are winners, and if profiting from instability in the world food markets was a crime, the list of culprits would be long.
Commodities traders, speculative hedge funds and farmers from the Midwest were among the many reaping money from this year's dramatic run up in world food prices.What sets Cargill apart is not its profits -- which as far as large corporations go, are relatively modest as a percentage of its sales -- but the company's enormous size and role in global food markets, say agricultural experts. With $120 billion in annual revenues, Cargill is bigger than the economies of more than two-thirds of the world's countries, including Kuwait, Peru and Vietnam. Its sales exceed those of Disney, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo -- combined -- and it is nearly twice as large as its next closest competitor, Archer Daniels Midland.
With a leading position in nearly every phase of the food distribution system, Cargill can influence agricultural markets around the world and affect prices consumers pay for everything from hamburgers to bread, according to some agricultural economists.