In agriculture, agribusiness is a generic term that refers to the various businesses involved in the food production chain, including farming, seed, agrichemicals, farm machinery, wholesaling, processing, distribution, and retail sales. Depending on its context, the term has two distinctly different connotations, one negative and one neutral.
Within the agricultural industry, agribusiness is widely used simply as the convenient contraction of agriculture and business, referring to the wide range of activities and disciplines encompassed by modern food production. There are university degrees in and departments of agribusiness, agribusiness trade groups, agribusiness publications, and so forth, worldwide. Here, the term is only descriptive.
In discussions of agriculture, particularly from a consumer perspective, agribusiness is often used as a negative term, synonymous with environment, on food quality, and on society in general.
To date, the two quite opposite usages appear to be coexisting, likely due in part to the fact that popular associations with the term are relatively neutral.