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Expectations and Realities of the Food System

Jean Kinsey ()
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Jean Kinsey: University of Minnesota

Chapter Chapter 2 in US Programs Affecting Food and Agricultural Marketing, 2013, pp 11-42 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract Food and agriculture is an industrial sector with complex supply chains and electronically aided information and logistics systems. The center of decision-making has shifted from farmers to processors to retailers as mega-sized supermarkets introduced price competition and drove down the price local and global suppliers could charge. Economies of scale necessitated technical and dynamic efficiencies through horizontal mergers and acquisitions and vertical coordination all along the supply chain. Vastly heterogeneous consumers present food preferences that not only vary by culture, income, and taste, but by social responsibility mores. Positioning food and health as a single thought changes the priorities for food choice. Altogether, the food system is a web of international laboratories, producers, processors, logistics companies, retailers, cooks, and consumers. Government ­oversight of its safety practices, trade agreements, information and advertising, competitiveness, and sustainability comprises another vast web, one of state and federal agencies, inspectors, and activities. Public policy serves to promote a healthy agricultural sector and a healthy population through food security programs and economic safety nets.

Keywords: Supply Chain; Food System; Fresh Produce; Retail Food; School Lunch (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-4930-0_2

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