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:-
- 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.
- To put this another way, we have moved from traditional "farming"
to modern "agri-business"
- "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.
- 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:-
- I have gathered a number of links to samples pages from the
'Main Agricultural Businesses' in the next section
- 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
- 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
- The history section gives some background ideas
- The 'written influences about food' sectiontries to survey
some of the writng about food, which influences consumers and
- 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