Overview

The food industry is a complex, global collective of diverse businesses that supply much of the food energy consumed by the world population. Only subsistence farmers, those who survive on what they grow, can be considered outside of the scope of the modern food industry. The food industry includes: Regulation: local, regional, national and international rules and regulations for food production and sale, including food quality and food safety, and industry lobbying activities Education: academic, vocational, consultancy Research and development: food technology Financial services insurance, credit Manufacturing: agrichemicals, seed, farm machinery and supplies, agricultural construction, etc. Agriculture: raising of crops and livestock, seafood Food processing: preparation of fresh products for market, manufacture of prepared food products Marketing: promotion of generic products (e.g. milk board), new products, public opinion, through advertising, packaging, public relations, etc. Wholesale and distribution: warehousing, transportation, logistics

it is challenging to find an inclusive way to cover all aspects of food production and sale. The Food Standards Agency, a government body in the UK, describes it thus: "...the whole food industry from farming and food production, packaging and distribution, to retail and catering."[1] The Economic Research Service of the USDA uses the term food system to describe the same thing: "The U.S. food system is a complex network of farmers and the industries that link to them. Those links include makers of farm equipment and chemicals as well as firms that provide services to agribusinesses, such as providers of transportation and financial services. The system also includes the food marketing industries that link farms to consumers, and which include food and fiber processors, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice establishments."[2] Processed food sales worldwide are approximately US$3.2 trillion (2004).[citation needed] In the U.S., consumers spend approximately US$1 trillion annually on food,[3] or nearly 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over 16.5 million people are employed in the food industry. In the United Kingdom, the food industry is extensive. It employs 2 million people and has a turnover in excess of ?70bn. It is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and represents around 15% of the total manufacturing sector in the UK. Around 13% of the people working in manufacturing in the UK work in the food and drink industry.[4] Main article: Agriculture Agriculture is the process of producing food, feeding products, fiber and other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock). The practice of agriculture is also known as "farming". Scientists, inventors and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture. More people in the world are involved in agriculture as their primary economic activity than in any other, yet it only accounts for twenty percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).