The food and beverage industry is a complex network of farmers, companies, and services that supply the world's population with food. It includes areas such as the raising of crops and livestock, the manufacture of agricultural and agrochemical equipment, the processing, packaging and labeling of food, storage, distribution, regulatory frameworks, financing, marketing, retail, catering, research and development, and education. The U. S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses the term 'food system' to describe this entire company. Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber, and other desired products by growing certain plants and raising domestic animals (livestock). The practice of agriculture is also known as farming. In addition, scientists, engineers, inventors and others dedicated to improving agricultural methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture. More people in the world are engaged in agriculture as their main economic activity than any other, but it only represents four percent of global GDP. Until the last 100 years, agriculture was labor-intensive.
Food production came from millions of farms. Farmers, largely trained from generation to generation, continued with the family business. In North America, more than 50 percent of the population were farming families just a few decades ago; now, that figure is between 1 and 2 percent, and about 80 percent of the population lives in cities. The food industry as a whole complex requires an incredibly wide range of skills. There are several hundred types of occupation in the food industry.
The Food World is the largest directory of food, beverage and agriculture industries in the world. Nowadays, the food industry has become very diversified, and manufacturing ranges from small, traditional and family activities that require a lot of labor to large capital-intensive and highly mechanized industrial processes. Many food industries are almost completely dependent on local agriculture or fishing. In the past, this involved seasonal production and the hiring of seasonal workers. Improvements in food processing and preservation technologies have eased some of the pressure on workers to process food quickly to avoid spoiling.
This has resulted in a decrease in seasonal fluctuations in employment. However, some industries continue to carry out seasonal activities such as processing fresh fruits and vegetables or increasing production of baked goods, chocolate etc for Christmas seasons. Temporary workers are usually women and foreign workers. Some examples of large companies in this industry are Cargill Inc., Nestlé S. A., Sysco Corporation, JBS S.
A., Weston Foods Ltd., George Weston Ltd., PepsiCo Inc., Mondelez International Inc., and Bunge Ltd. Cargill employs 155,000 people worldwide and operates in 70 countries in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia. Nestlé S. A., headquartered in Vevey (Switzerland), employs 291,000 people worldwide offering a range of products and services including baby food, bottled water, cereals, chocolates and confectionary products, coffee, dairy products beverages etc. Sysco Corporation has approximately 323 distribution facilities around the world and employs more than 69000 people with its main operations in North America and Europe. JBS S.
A., headquartered in São Paulo (Brazil), serves 80 countries on six continents including North America South America Europe Australia etc employing more than 240 000 people. Weston Foods is a North American bakery that sells commercial bread artisanal products donuts pastries rolls etc comprising 40 bakery facilities in Canada & US employing approximately 6000 people with some popular brands like Wonder Ace Bakery Country Harvest Casa Mendosa & D'Italiano. George Weston is a Canadian public company with businesses in food & grocery retail real estate & consumer goods employing more than 200 000 people. PepsiCo owns popular brands such as Frito-Lay Gatorade Pepsi-Cola & Quaker serving more than 200 countries & territories such as North America Europe Latin America Africa Middle East China Australia New Zealand & South Asia employing 141 000 people with 122 000 employees in US alone. Mondelez sells snacks such as cookies chocolate chewing gum & candies cheese groceries & powdered beverages in more than 150 countries in Latin America North America Europe Asia Middle East & Africa. Packaging is important to protect the food product & delay physical chemical & biological deterioration. In certain branches of the food industry processing activities are also associated with possible problems of controlling odors & emissions to atmosphere. As populations around the world are concentrated in urban areas buying food is increasingly remote from all aspects of food production. From then until today although many methods have been & are still being used heat is still one of the main pillars of food preservation. The food processing industry has raw waste effluent before treatment that has an extremely high content of soluble organic matter. The last activity of the food system concerns the consumption of food & elimination of waste which unfortunately is beyond scope of this course. A Finnish study found that chronic rhinitis is common among slaughterhouse & other workers exposed to dusts generated during handling & processing operations.