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Food Supply Chain Management

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Food Supply Chain Management, 9781405101684 (1405101687), John Wiley & Sons, 2004
Food is always a matter of interest, a means of providing energy, the raw material that builds and maintains our well-being, a defence against illness, a pleasure to consume when well prepared and presented, a basis for social interaction and enjoyment at home, in a restaurant, canteen or perhaps even hospital or school. Our ancient ancestors spent more than half of their waking hours searching for, gathering, hunting and preparing food.

Clearly we have progressed. For example, television and magazines have large audiences eager for entertainment and instruction on methods of food preparation and presentation, of novelties, of variations on a theme, exotic and ethnic foods or perhaps the simple basics such as ensuring an egg is fresh, boiled, fried or poached to perfection. Yet, whoever we may be, we rely on a secure supply of food, and that is more or less taken for granted in richer countries. Consumers’ concerns are price, ease of acquisition and preparation, and quality as measured by preferences for colour, taste and consistency.

By and large, all these are met for the majority of people in developed countries for most of the time. We live at a time of abundantly supplied shops, stores, supermarkets and fast food outlets. Supporting all of these is a supply chain, a series of links and inter-dependencies from farm to fork, from plough to plate. It is the behind-the-scenes production and preparation that delivers hour by hour, week by week, through almost seamless seasons, providing us with food at a price we like and in a place we want it. The food supply chain is a managed process, a combination of knowledge and skills, spanning electronics, biology and the social sciences of economics, human behaviour, psychology, and more. All are set in a legal framework of minimum standards and basic rules.

The food supply chain embraces a wide range of disciplines. This book brings together the most important of them and aims to provide an understanding of the chain, to support those who manage parts of the chain and to enhance the development of research activities in the discipline. It will therefore be of interest to students, managers, researchers and policy decision-makers with an interest in food supply chain management.
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