The Shrinking World Food System

The world food system is changing at a rapid rate. Instead of small producers being in charge of the industry, large scale distributors have taken over in terms of products and power. Only 15% of fresh produce come from small farms and landscapes. The market is becoming saturated with brand name agricultural entities that sell their products for exceedingly low prices. Although this is beneficial for consumers, it can hurt the ecosystem of world foods. This implies a lack of diversity for cultural foods. In previous years, you could find a wide variety of foods at your local market. Today, there are fewer choices, which is largely due to the shrinkage of the world food system. Because this has such significant impacts on trade and other qualities of life, local governments have decided to intervene in some countries. Russell Peters of NATO says, “the world food system is in jeopardy…Exxons of agriculture have taken over”. He uses Exxon as an analogy, but by no means is limiting his scope to this particular company.


This problem stems from the issue of globalization itself. If we can find solutions that maintain a better balance in the future, we can manage our world food system appropriately. Until then, large market powers have complete control over all domains. Representatives from these large companies have issued statements regarding smaller entities. They want to collaborate with everyone to ensure a fair and balanced job market. Nevertheless, the current state of food and its sales is questionable. The system has been misaligned for several years without any form of progress. It is important to note that this problem exists in tandem with other international issues such as global warming. Because some production industries are unstable, it is difficult to resolve the world food system at its heart. Experts suggest resolving side aspects such as industrialization first. When the food system shrinks, our markets become closer to home. At the same time, they become more distant in terms of middlemen and sales. The best of both worlds is hard to come by.


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