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Global Food Supplies
Globalization and technology enable food producers to access a wider market, increase opportunities, and competition with food supply and consumption. Countries and agricultural multinationals position their supply systems, according tothe global market. Food supply requires a systematic analysis of the food production processes and strategies for ensuring consistency in production and supply chain. Collaboration and partnerships at various levels has been adopted to facilitate in large-scale production, processing, and supply. The following study will discuss the problems with global food supplies, possible solutions, and the implicationsof the suggested solutions.
According to Bingxin et al. (2010),availability of food, its accessibility, utility of food, and stability are vital in global food supply.These are the conceptual factors of food supply and food security. Availability of food in one part of the world does not guarantee supply to the parts with scarcity. Accessibility of food is dependent on international relations between countries and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO). Utility of food affects supply of food because of the cultural orientation towards certain types of food. Other than the conceptual aspects, Thomsett (2011) and Olson (2012) believed that problems in the food supply could stem from the product value chain and the supply chain. The food process chain may comprise of production at the farm level, storage, processing facilities, transportation of the processed foodstuff, distributors, and retailers. Farmers require modern technology and machines to handle the produce into the form that can be exported. Lack of processing mills and plants limit the food supply into the developed economies (Bingxin et al., 2010). Inadequate storage facilities affect the global food supply because of food wastageat the production level. Perishable foodstuff requires quick transportation and modern preservation methods such as the use of refrigerators (Frankenberger et al., 2014).
Geopolitical interests andsanctions affect global food supply. Countries that face sanctions may be limited in terms of the types of food they can import or export. For instance,sanctions have affected food supply Europe to Russia in the current sanctions between the some of the countries in Europe and Russia. North Korea also faces challenges in the food supplybecause of sanctions (Thomsett, 2011).Olson (2012) indicated that terrorism affects food supply because of the disruption of the food production and supply chain. Terrorism also affects the farming system because the farmers take alternatives that suit the prevailing conditions in the regions that are prone to terrorism.Agricultural terrorism affects global food supply. Agricultural terrorism is a form of bioterrorism where terrorists introduce animal and plant disease in the region in order to destabilize food production (Olson, 2012). Climate change and natural disasters cause problems in global food supply. Climate change affects the agricultural systems by causing shortages in water supply, flooding, and general inconstancies in weather conditions. Uncertainties in weather make prediction and planning difficult for farmers a factor that eventually affects global food supply (Thomsett, M, 2011; Bingxin et al., 2010).
Carpenter et al. (2013) held the view that decentralization of food production would help in reducing the challenges of global food supply. Decentralization augments the conceptual aspects of food supply such as accessibility and stability. In this case,the logistics of ensuring the food reaches the consumer are less complicated because the food is within the locality of the user. Adoption of better food production methods and technologies can also help in dealing with the threats of global food supply. Mechanized farming and research in drought tolerant crops are some of the modern approaches that ensure consistency in food supply(Frankenberger et al., 2014).
Improved international relations with the trade partners and collaboration in research and food production will enhance global food supply. Countries and food producers may sign trade agreements that facilitate food supply. Negotiations on specific food processing and quality can improveworld food supply. Farmers and food processing multinational may share technologies and intelligence on bioterrorism to reduce agricultural terrorism (Carpenter et al., 2013; Olson, 2012).
Decentralization of food production affects the management of production and product copyrights.Different countries and regions have unique approaches to food production. The climatic and physical conditions differ from one country to another. Decentralization of production will require a strategy of aligning the processes, policies, and objectives of all the stakeholders.High costs of adoption and mitigation measures for climate change and natural disasters affect food supply. Research on crops, animals, and farming systems that are tolerant to climate change requires long terms strategies and resources(Carpenter et al., 2013; Olson, 2012).
Stability in global food supply requires a multidimensional approach. Olson (2012) showed that dealing with bioterrorism involves researchers in agricultural biotechnology and the security agencies. According toFrankenberger (2014) sustainable food supply, depends on sharing technical information on climate change. Capacity building at the production level affects the consistency of food supply. Technical information on greenhouse emissions at the local level and on a global scale can help in formulating policies on sustainability of the supply chain. Food supply also relies on the co-operation of food supply multinationals, Non-Governmental organizations, and trade organizations.
Bingxin, Y et al. 2010, Toward a Typology of Food Security in Developing Countries,Governance Division, and International Food Policy Research Institute.
Carpenter, J, Moore, M, Alexander, N, & Doherty, M 2013, ‘Consumer demographics, Ethno centralism, cultural values, and consumer culture in a retail perspective’, Journal of marketing management, 29, 4, pp. 271- 291. Business source complete, EBSCOHost, viewed 13 December 2014.
Frankenberger, T, Costas, M, Nelson, S, & Starr, L 2014, Building resilience for food and nutrition. Washington, DC: International food Policy research Institute.
Olson, D 2012, Agroterrorism: threats to America’s economy and food supply, FBI law enforcement bulletin, Business source complete, EBSCOHost, viewed 13 December 2014.
Thomsett, M 2011, ‘Global supply chain risk management: Viewing the past to manage today’s risk from an historical perspective’, Review of management innovation and creativity, 4, 9, pp.44-64, Business source complete, EBSCOHost, viewed 13 December 2014.