Big chains are an easy target, and rightly so in many instances. But food’s journey from supplier to consumer is more complex – and evolving – says Andrew Fearne.
Picture this: you are the supplier of a highly perishable and seasonable food commodity to a major supermarket. You are a significant player in your sector, say summer fruits, but the supplier of only one of 30,000 product lines for the supermarket.
Your supply programmes are generally agreed annually with your customer, the supermarket, with prices and promotions contingent upon availability and demand.
Continue reading Supermarket buyers – a breed apart or an endangered species?
Even in the UK, where we have shown little anxiety about our access to food supplies since the days of rationing in World War 2, food security is back on the agenda.
Climate change could, it seems, be the trigger that makes us overcome our squeamishness about genetically modified crops, according to debates in the popular press. The recent Royal Society report “Reaping the benefits: science and the sustainable intensification of global agriculture”, urges universities to work with funding bodies to reverse the decline in subjects relevant to the sustainable intensification of food crop production.
But is technology really going to provide everything that we need or are we simply hoping once again for a quick fix to an extremely complex problem?