A Brief Overview of the Food Supply Chain

A Brief Overview of the Food Supply Chain

Have you ever wondered how food grown on a farm makes its way to your plate? It’s all thanks to the food supply chain that involves many different people at each step of the way. If you’re interested in learning more, continue reading to explore a brief overview of the food supply chain.

Explanation of the Food Supply Chain

The food supply chain includes all stages that food products travel through, from production to consumption. Thanks to modern supply systems, food can travel from the other side of the world to your local grocery shop. As food travels from producers to consumers, money goes to those who work at various levels of the supply chain in the opposite direction.

Understanding Importing and Exporting

Importing is the process of bringing goods into a country, whereas exporting is moving goods from one country to another. Importing and exporting are the backbones of the supply chain since many foods can only be grown in certain parts of the world.

Assume you’re a massive admirer of kiwis and buy them every time you go shopping. If you live in America, the chances are that the kiwis you eat originate from New Zealand, which is a world away. New Zealand produces far more kiwis than its population can consume, so they send most of them out.

People can now ship food halfway around the world using modern transportation systems. Not only that, but the food is still fresh when it arrives at your local grocery store, owing to refrigerated transportation that safely transports it once it reaches distribution hubs. You’ll find many interesting refrigerated trucking statistics that reflect just how important they are in the supply chain, such as how they account for 5 percent of America’s GDP.

The Producers

The people who produce the food are the earliest part of the supply chain. They could work on farms, meat processing plants, vineyards, and other types of businesses. Local and international regulations govern how you must produce the food to ensure it’s safe to consume. After the product is ready to go, someone preps it for shipping.

Preparation and Storage

When cultivation is complete, someone washes the food and prepares it for travel. It may not be ready for ingestion at this stage until it is processed further when it reaches its final destination. A worker then packages the product to make it ready for delivery.

Distribution of Food

Finally, the food gets transported from the packing plants to retail stores. Various modes of transportation are employed to accomplish this. Airplanes, jets, trucks, and other vehicles fall within this category.

This brief overview of the food supply chain can provide an eye-opening picture of the complexities involved with getting what we consume. You may even count yourself as a crucial part of this chain. Without the massive amounts of labor involved in each step, our modern way of living wouldn’t be possible.

Additional Resources:



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