Summary of Major Changes in Agriculture
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In the previous pages, I have tried to give a brief listing of the changes in the last century to field agriculture, animal husbandry, harvesting, storage and processing of crops.

It seems to me that these changes are so extensive that a number of points can be made:-

  1. Agriculture is now clearly an industry. "Industrialisation" may not be complete yet, but the process may be 80% complete in the UK, and it is likely to continue further.
  2. To put this another way, we have moved from traditional "farming" to modern "agri-business"
  3. "Agri-business" is like any other business - it makes its decisions on the basis of profitability, and tends to prefer short-term profit to long-term prospects.
  4. Perhaps the changes in diet and nutrition I have described can now be described as a "quantum change". It is now possible to have a diet of foods which didn't even exist or were not available 100 years ago

This idea of Industrialisation 'lead forward' to the rest of the study, where I try to create a brief overview of a number of sectors involved directly or indirectly with food and agriculture:-

  1. I have gathered a number of links to samples pages from the 'Main Agricultural Businesses' in the next section
  2. Many political and environmental movements have sprung up recently. Many of these question these changes, and try to minimise the side-effects of the changes on other areas of life. Some of these movements are detailed in the 'Conservation and other Organisations' section
  3. Agricultural products are some of the main global traded commodities, and it is expected that further globalisation will have further effects on UK agriculture. Links are given to some of these official bodies, and I haave tried to look at the 'Prospects for Britain'
  4. The history section gives some background ideas
  5. The 'written influences about food' sectiontries to survey some of the writng about food, which influences consumers and policy makers
  6. In the final "Summary and Conclusions", I attempt to look at how these various sectors are responding to the main pattern in the food and farming industries - industrialisation.

    Further scientific research is going on - perhaps our food supplies will change again from "agri-business" to a "bio-business" in the future, where foodstuffs are synthesised by micro-organisms in factories, using simple plant matter as the input material

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