Talk:Food industry

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What about Cargill?[edit]

Revenue in 2010 - 107.9 billion dollars. Isn't then Cargill the biggest food company? Not Nestle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.136.120.42 (talk) 21:46, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I second this. Cargill is one of the world's largest agricultural commodity traders. It should be in the list. Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 21:49, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Launching the article[edit]

This may not be as difficult as it seems! :) I think a concise overview of the modern global food industry is possible, timely and extremely valuable. I've started it with a quick outline. I'm not sure of the exact format and approach, but I think this article could briefly summarize and connect the many parts here, while referring to related specific articles for more detail. Tsavage 15:04, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

The intention right now is to sketch things out bit by bit. The ideas and also the terminology are "plain English", not based in a particular academic discipline or perspective, so I realize that quite a bit of rewriting may be necessary for a proper encyclopedic product... Hopefully, people with expertise in specific areas will do this as required...

Also, a fair bit of what I think should be included in this article is in the food article. However, the two are not the same topic. Here, the focus is more on business, finance, economics... The complementary distinctions should become i was here and you weren't clear as this article develops. Tsavage 16:57, 22 August 2005 (UTC)i is there a reference provided for the statistic about the worldwide consumption of processed foods in the "industry size" section?

Prominent Food Companies[edit]

Hello. I am starting a list of major businesses in the food industry. The title of the section, the descriptions, and the general format are all areas where improvement might be needed. And of course the list should be expanded. Dobtoronto, November 1

Nestle is largest Kraft is the second largest food companies in the world. it has been second largest before the acquisition of Cadbury. Information about PepsiCo and other rankings are wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.228.220.39 (talk) 18:34, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

Lists are bad :( - Signed anonymous, May 22

General Format & Topics Suggestions[edit]

I came across this page when looking up a discussion on "food processing." It was redirrected to "Food Industry." I see it here as a sub-topic.

As a food industry professional, who has gone on to be a chef, I would suggest that some changes should be made to reflect more how the industry actually operates. I understand the page was started with a quick outline some time ago, but I think some things should be re-formated.

Here's some examples of the different segments of the industry:


Farms/ Growers

Food Manufacturers (namely smaller independent, regional or national companies)

Food Conglomerates(namely multinational or global enterprises that represent the new economy and control more aspects of the total product, from production, packaging, marketing, distribution, etc.)

Disosable supply manufacturers: they make everything from napkins, food containers, plastic forks and knives, plastic and aluminum wraps, chef hats, etc.

Light equipment manufacturers: they make everything from ceramic platewares, glassware, cooking utensils, tableware, pots and pans, etc.

Heavy equipment manufacturers: they make everything from stoves, steamers, ventilation hoods, preparation tables, etc.

Industrial equipment and machine manufacturers: they make the equipments and machines that help produce and process any food items, from agriculture to meat industry and to canning and beyond.

Distributors: These are made up of smaller local, regional and national companies. There are also specialized distributors, broadliners, master-distributors and re-distributors. Not only that, but distribution is often split between retail and wholesale/ foodservice. Broadliners try to do everything, but many companies are select in things like dry goods, alcohol, cleaning supplies, meats, produce, etc. Street salesman are less numerous in these companies nowadays, as companies push sales to the internet, telephone and the the like.

Brokers: These people traditionaly represent the manufacturere or conglomerates and have more than one company that they promote. They act like the liason between the manufacturers and the distributors, for instance. Their primary objective is to move major units; i.e., by the pallet or truckloads. But they often help sales teams target end users in either restaurants or retail. They often have the advertising materials and promotions, either in material form or even negotiated dollar rebates. In the past years, brokers have seen an attack against their role in the industry as companies consolidate lines, promote more on the internet and re-organize the distribution of product through laterally, totally integrated companies.

Importers and Exporters: The United States probably relies on imported goods than many other compmanies. We have both a national cuisine and a tradition of imported foods. This segment leads both into retail and wholesale/ foodservice, but is an enormous segment to itself. Companies are licensed and specialized solely in importing and exporting, although some act like master distributors and importers of various product lines. Aside, from that, this segment of the industry has its own sets of regulations and also relies on the ocean going shipping industry or cross-border trade routes, either by train or truck, to Mexico and Canada. Europe and other places are now organized under their European Union, under a common currency and new trade laws.

Transportation, Freight forwarding and logistics: This segment crosses over into categories, but is really a growing influential enterprise that stands somewhat independent and yet supports the food industry itself. The trend is to "trace" product from its very original source to its movenent into the network and out to the end user. For example, Niman Ranch meat products is a leader in "tracing" every piece of meat that goes out. But this industry works with everyone, from manufacturers, to distributors, to importers and beyond. It was traditionally about "carriers" and paper bill of ladings and other documents, but nowadays this segment of the industry is forcing technology into the process, eliminating actual "paper" to the digital preferance. It is also increasing the fast pace of the movement of product around the world, the increase of the number of units and creating a new inventory and purchasing approach that is as only "as needed" or delivered overnight. Perishable products that were never available in the United States or other parts of the world can now be sent overnight across the world, thus introducing products to people that have never before been available.

Foodsevice & Hospitality: This makes up mostly the "professional" sector of restaurants and hotels. People that work on this side of the industry often disdain the "retail" sectors. They work with primarily distributors and brokers and the like that deal with their segment of the foodservice and hospitalit sectors. Food products that are marketed and packaged to the foodservice and hospitality trade are obviously of a different standard than that of retail, so the decision makers in this facet of the business are often quite discriminating.

Retail: This is made up of grocery stores, convenience shops, vending machines, and specialty consumer based shops. Nowadays, the larger grocery chains are controlling more and more of their product from product sourcing to distribution to the sale to the end user. "Mom & Pop" shops in the united states are falling out.

Regulation: This is made up largely by the goverment and its different divisions, from federal to state and local. It is also very controversial, as regultion changes can force changes throughout the industry and often very disputed by both professionals and the public alike. Likewise, the industry is often regulated by itself with various member associations and political groups that are controlled by various interest groups that advocate, regulate, certify and even lobby government, etc. There is even an arm of the goverment and private sector that "educates" professionals and the public, sometimes in the interest of advocacy, or for trends and the like.

Finance and credit: there are indeed companies that specialize in financing the food sector, as well as doing credit analysis and legal matters, etc. Companies that are traded on the world's stock exchanges are a world to themeselves and are now competing with regional and domestic companies in the fastly "globalizing" economy.

Education/ Certification: The rise of educated and certified chefs in the United States is incredible, as is the growth of schools and institutions. They certainly vary in size and specialty, just like any secondary learning institution.

Trade shows, publishing and media: more convergence has occurred in this sector over the last few years. Trade shows like the Fancy Food Show and the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Show are gaining more criticism it seems, as perhaps less persuasion. Broadline distributors are creating thier own shows, taking away from cross industry forums. Manufacturers are also trying to control their marketing representation and get the best bang for the buck, transferring this marketing promotion and cost to others, if need be. Therefore, deals are made for exclusives in large distribution companies, warehouse stores and the lie, where inventory warehoused and promotions and rebates are received at that level. Meanwhile television networks, trade associations and publishers are promoting new celebrity chefs, cookbooks, internet sites and so on.

69.109.208.103 (talk) 22:53, 26 January 2008 (UTC)DjZ

Food Industry Technology[edit]

I noticed that "irrigation" and "fertilizer" don't appear on the page. Wouldn't Food Industry Technology be a useful place to include facts about these everyday technologies? What do they depend on? 69.172.150.113 (talk) 11:09, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Regulation and Resource Use[edit]

This article presently has no section on Regulation. There are also no direct mentions of land or water rights in relation to food industries. What kinds of land use are normal in the current food industry? What are the global implications of food industries' organization and practice? A Marketing section describes competition but does not describe the consequences.

Outside of Wikipedia, I had trouble finding out how much we depend on international waters for food. Even here in this article, there's not much yet either on distribution of food sources in relation to law or on how law, people, and food industries shape each other. Could that kind of information find a home in this article? 69.172.150.113 (talk) 11:21, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

History section?[edit]

Any thoughts on creating a history section? I would say that significant aspects are the creation of preserved and packaged food starting with things like jerky, canning, and jarring followed by commercialization and industrialization of these same items. It would seem that the food industry has grown as packaging has developed and evolved. Also, as controversial as it might be, there is the GMO aspect to consider in agriculture, from the earliest grafting of trees and combining of wheat strains thousands of years ago.

That said, everything that happened up until the 1700s with the advent of military rations can probably be summed up in a paragraph or so, then move on to a section about the Industrial Revolution and then later the advent of plastics and the affect it had on the food industry. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 01:31, 11 May 2015 (UTC)