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What Is the Global Food Industry?

The companies that grow the potatoes, make the chips, and sell them to consumers are all part of the food industry.
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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2014
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The global food industry refers to the entire food supplying industry, from the agriculture processes and farmers to the wholesalers and retailers who deliver the food to the general public. It is also the job of this industry to try to ensure that adequate food supplies are available to every country and area in the world. Part of the equation includes an understanding of global food economy, supply, and how the global food market works. The methods employed for food processing, distribution, and retail are huge components in this industry as well. The global food industry is one of the largest systems in the world and touches almost every community in terms of commerce and supplying sustenance in remote and well-populated regions.

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The global food industry starts with all types of farming and animal husbandry, from small, local farms to the huge corporate farms that supply some of the world's largest food companies with vegetables and meat for their products. Some of the farms involved in global food production focus on exclusively organic farming, allowing for no pesticides, herbicides, or unnatural fertilizers to be used on the food plants. This farming process also doesn't allow for genetically modified plants or food animals to be treated with growth hormones and other chemical-based medications. The remaining farms focus on farming techniques that cost less and produce greater amounts of food through the use of genetically modified plant life and animal husbandry techniques allowed by law. The consumer is allowed to choose the type of food they buy for consumption.

Another aspect of the global food industry to consider is food production. Mass production is used for items commonly found in grocery and convenience stores and refers to the creation of a large number of the same product. Batch production is the practice of making only a specific number of identical products for a short amount of time, such as a bakery making fruit cakes for the holiday season. For situations in which a customized food product is created, for example a birthday or wedding cake, the process is called one-off production. Within the global food industry, businesses involved include any type of service that grows, produces, or sells food goods.

Most people are familiar with the distribution of food and food related products. Grocery stores, farmers' stands, and restaurants are just a few examples of businesses that cater to the individual needs of the public. Food products are shipped to the retailers through a global system of trucks, trains, and planes from local sources as well as distant ones.

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