Agri- food geographies 2

Growth of an agri food system

non farm companies have become more important than farms in food provisioning since WW2

- evolution of the modern agri-food system- set of things connected, associated or interdependent as to form a complex unity, a whole.

-food chains/ netwroks 

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Simplified representation of the agri- food system

Fuel, Seed, Fertiliser, machinery= Farm

                                                      = processing, retailing, catering

                                                                                                  = Consumers

-Other parts of the food system e.g. transport and biotech, vets 

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Non- farm companies get involved in 3 ways

1. take over inputs that farmers used to do= Appropriation e.g. replacement of animals for machines 

2. Agriculture is reduced to supplying industry with raw products or cut ot altogether by synthetic products= Substitution e.g. just giving potatoes for crsisps or quorn replacing meat 

3. farms are taken over indirectly through contract arrangeemnts= Subsumption e.g. by banks 

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Upstream input companies

E.g. terra Nitrogen, USA based, 30% of UK market share, fertilizer bought 

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Downstream food processing

E.G Quorn- The product: developed in 1960s, fungus based, 100 different food products

The Company: produced in 3 UK sites, £130m turnover, 35th biggest food brand in UK, sold in 11 different countries 

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Downstream food Retiling

E.G. Tesco

Part of retail revolution, millions of £ profi, £162m a year, takes £1 in £8

supermarkets domiant in supplying food

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consequences of agri food development

Positive: increase in a range of availability of food products, enhance consumer choice, economic benefits for company owners 

Negative: Excessive concertration- reduction in competition, loss of power/ control/ influence by other food chain actors 

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Food quality concerns

-Low grade ingredients, e.g. turkey twizzlers

- heavily advertised and marked as 'convenience' foods- deskills consumer 

- contributes to UKs cheap food culture

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Obesogenic Environments

Anthony Winson 2004 

- highly processed 'junk' foods of limited nutritional value 

- geography of the stores darws consumers to pseudo foods

- contributes to increasing obesity 

- supermarkets could be seen as obesogenic environments 

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Spatial colonisation of the city by foodscapes

2017 study found chldren are more likely to gain weight if they live near fast food outlets.

-socially unequal impacts: study found a higher density of fast food outlets within poorer neighbourhoods- 25%

-contemporary food environemnts work against healthy weight management 

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reactions against the modern agri- food system

- re localised of food e.g. farmers markets 

- campaignes against GM and big food corps e.g. Jamie Oliver 

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