December 8th, 2015
Food and agriculture: shifting landscapes for policy
Published by Oxford Review of Economic Policy, October 28th, 2015
This paper in Oxford Review of Economic Policy, describes the ways in which changing consumption patterns and production technologies have altered the boundaries between agriculture and food. Increasing income and urbanization have driven a steady increase in the demand for prepared and processed foods, reducing the need for in-home preparation. But this well-documented transition has in turn led to a shift in the structure of the food industry, with manufacturers and processors playing an ever-larger role relative to farmers—most prominently in the US and European countries, but also in the developing world. The shift is evident in employment patterns and trade patterns as well as in production and value addition. The authors argue that regulatory systems and policies still tend to equate food with farming, reflecting the realities of the last century more than the policy challenges of today.