The Secret of Industrialisation

The shortest possible summary of the Aims and Objectives text is :

  • The UK food and farming sector is going well and everyone is happy !

But, the result of my Context Analysis was :-

  • There is a world-wide process of industrialisation in food and farming, and this is rapidly spreading. It may now be more valid to talk of 'a high-technology food production industry' - 'farming' is now an obsolete term.

However, when I look at the UK Aims and Objectives, I find a harmonious system, with no objectors, and there is no mention whatsoever of this industrialisation process (although industry and business are mentioned, they seem to be equal partners in the system rather than a dominant historical force).

1. The Context of Food Policy
2. The Government in Detail
3. Government Food Policy
4. In-depth analysis of sub-topics
5. The Dispositive (Triangulation)
Industry and Animals
6. Summary
7. Conclusions

This omission of any mention of industrialisation could be rationalised in several ways:-

  1. perhaps all the 'insiders' know about this industrialisation, and they are keeping it a secret
  2. perhaps they forgot to mention it
  3. perhaps this is 'just the way people think' - they don't want to think about where their food comes from and what it is. They are not interested in the sources of their food, and this includes the Government Ministers when they go to the supermarket to buy their food like ordinary people.

I suspect that point 3 may closest to the truth. Everyone really knows that food production is industrialised, but they prefer not to think about it. They prefer to imagine that the adverts using images of happy rural scenes are true. The products look nice on the supermarket shelves, they are for sale at a reasonable price, they taste OK, and it's impossible to tell the difference anyway.

So the dispositive has another deep fault line:-

  • while the discourse is all sweetness, light and cooperation
  • the 'knowledge contained in the physical objects', that is, knowledge about the food on sale, is almost entirely ignored, and is replaced by a 'fantasy knowledge' provided by marketing

I am not suggesting that this is a deliberate secrecy by either the government or by the food suppliers. I am suggesting that this is what has developed throughout the whole system, and that consumers generally choose cheap food that looks OK, and this is what the supply chain provides for them. I think that the information about the industrial sources of food is obvious to anyone who thinks about it, but that everyone is happy with the system the way it is - there is a collective amnesia.

The Aims and Objectives do not engage with the industrialisation and globalisation of the food industry, and do not mention them

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