Processes include production, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal. A food supply chain is the process that all food products go through, from production to consumption. The food supply chain is therefore a very important step in safely consuming and understanding the food you consume. Once you understand what a food supply chain is, you can begin to understand its importance.
Food supply chains are also critical to ensuring food safety and product traceability, meaning that both manufacturers and consumers can easily trace food back to its origins. In fact, short food chains offer mutual benefits to both farmers and consumers, and act as a model for increasing transparency, trust, growth and equity. One consequence of the increase in per capita food supply that may seem intuitive is its relation to the prevalence of malnutrition. In order to assess food security indicators, this has been measured annually in developing countries since 1990.
In recent years, people have become more aware of the environmental impact that certain food supply chains may be having. Reducing food chains has economic, environmental and social benefits, and greater connection to the place of origin of their food is likely to lead to less waste and greater trust among consumers. As such, concern has been expressed about a multitude of resulting problems, ranging from animal welfare, food safety, rising food prices and the mental health of workers. After Brexit, the agricultural industry, which is an integral part of the production phase of the food supply chain, has suffered a chronic shortage of labor.
While this may initially be considered beneficial for food production lines, it means that chains inevitably become more fragmented. For example, during the production stages of the food supply chain, technology is used to control storage temperatures and much more. This makes it more difficult for consumers to easily trace their food back to its origins, since food is transported from all corners of the world over an extended period of time.
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