What are the 5 main steps of the food production chain and what happens at each?

In the food supply chain, food passes from producer to consumer through the processes of production, processing, distribution, retail and consumption; therefore, food is passed from farmer to consumer in a domino like manner. The food supply chain encompasses all the stages that food products go through, from production to consumption. Nowadays, food is transported over longer distances, between continents. As the supply chain becomes longer and more fragmented, consumers are increasingly disconnected from the source of our food.

It also means that, as food is lost or wasted at every stage of the chain, a longer chain leads to greater total food waste. We can also see food systems working locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Production, processing, distribution and consumption: Food systems require many steps, each with a variety of inputs and products. Production can look very different depending on the scale and cultivation methods used.

Whether they cultivate a half-acre plot or a 50,000 acre ranch, food producers have to make a lot of decisions about how they will grow food, including whether they will grow a crop or a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables, and whether they should apply organic or synthetic fertilizers. While some farmers produce resources on the farm, there is an entire industry based on production inputs, including seed companies, plant nurseries, animal feed companies, fertilizer producers, and others. Smallholder farmers often have trouble accessing existing processing facilities, but building new ones is an expensive task. Currently, most meat consumed in the United States is processed in only a few slaughterhouses, but the recent shutdowns of meat-packing plants due to COVID-19 have highlighted the danger of this practice.

In the distribution stage, food reaches those who will prepare it for consumption. There is an almost infinite variety of ways to distribute food, both for free and for a fee. Wholesalers combine products from many producers to sell to schools, hospitals, restaurants and grocery stores. These large-scale buyers often have different requirements than those of those who sell food to the general public, such as liquid eggs for restaurants and boxed milk for schools, and producers can find it difficult to quickly adapt their production systems to meet different market needs.

An important issue related to distribution is access to food. Programs like SNAP and WIC are essential social safety net programs that help households buy nutritious and culturally relevant food. SFC is currently leading the statewide expansion of the Double Up Food Bucks program, which doubles the value of SNAP and WIC benefits at many local farmers' markets and other food outlets so that everyone can support their local food economy, regardless of income. Processing means transforming plants or animals into what we recognize and buy as food.

Processing involves different steps for different types of food. For products, processing can be as simple as washing and sorting, or it can involve trimming, slicing or shredding. Milk is generally processed by pasteurizing it; sometimes it is converted into cheese. Nuts can be roasted, chopped, or ground (for example, with peanut butter).

For animals, the first processing step is slaughter. The meat and poultry can then be cut into pieces or ground. They can also be smoked, cooked or frozen and can be combined with other ingredients to make a sausage or a main course, such as a potato pie. 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 eat. This elasticity between prices and cross prices of demand8 influences the intersection of supply and demand and the final price of food. Many germs grow quickly in foods that are kept at room temperature; a small number can grow to a large number within a few hours. The retail and hospitality industries that buy the products, for example, want to buy high-quality food at a low price from the supplier in order to continue to make a profit and offer competitive prices.

While this led to the enactment of the Food Quality Protection Act9 and effectively repealed the Delaney Clause on pesticides, it has also increased consumer awareness and sensitivity. Conservation policies and environmental regulations enacted at the federal, state and local levels, primarily since the 1970s, in response to the degradation of air and water quality, sought to protect natural resources and, at the same time, meet the growing demands for safe, affordable and abundant food. supply. On the contrary, facilities such as regional cereal factories and small-scale meat processors help make the local food system more.

Most of the extensive agricultural production in the United States that is not exported or fed to livestock (approximately half of the total) goes through some form of food processing and manufacturing before being consumed by people. Shorter food chains have economic, environmental and social benefits, and a greater connection to where food comes from is likely to lead to less waste and greater trust among consumers. Within the management of food supply chains, in order to minimize risk, certain areas of production must be documented. In addition, the demand for crops used to produce fuel or other non-food products encourages greater supply at higher prices, which also increases the price of the basic product used as food.

When there are many food options, consumers are likely to replace alternatives as relative prices change. Perhaps the most significant change in consumption patterns in the 21st century has been the remarkable growth in demand for food produced or marketed in ways that are perceived to support the health, environment or social equity objectives of farmers and consumers, such as organic foods, free-range foods, fair trade, local, and natural. Regulations to prevent and control pathogen contamination began with the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906-20 and were supplemented by a series of laws on milk (192), seafood (192) and restaurants (193), culminating in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938. The food service sector includes restaurants, fast food establishments, eating and drinking establishments, and institutional cafeterias where people buy both the food and the service to prepare and serve that food.

In a marine food chain, single-celled organisms called phytoplankton provide food for small shrimp called krill. Direct-to-consumer outlets, such as farmers' markets, farm stalls and CSAs, connect food producers directly to their customers. . .

Ismael Slagter
Ismael Slagter

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