ABSTRACT

In this chapter we explore in more empirical detail the food processing and manufacturing industry that lies ‘downstream’ from the farm sector in the food supply system. Whereas many writers use the terms interchangeably, here we use ‘food processing’ to imply the manipulation of agricultural raw materials into food products which retain many of the characteristics of the original materials. The freezing and canning of vegetables, the slaughter, evisceration, deboning and packaging of poultry, and the pasteurization and bottling of milk are illustrative of food processing. By ‘food manufacturing’ we imply the transformation of agricultural raw materials into food products that have lost many of the characteristics of the original materials. The production of bread, cakes and biscuits from flour, of meat pies from pork, beef and poultrymeat, and of butter, cheese and yoghurt from milk provide examples of food manufacturing. The term ‘agribusiness’ is also employed by some writers to describe the totality of food processing and manufacturing, but here we use the term ‘food industry’ (Burns et al. 1983).