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Food Production Systems, Trade, and Transnational Corporations: - page 8 / 29

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Figure 1

Interaction of Global and Local Food Value Chains

Global

TNC Food

Global Fast-food

Agro-

Manufacturers

Franchises

Business

(Kraft, Nestlé)

(McDonald’s, KFC)

Developed Countries

Global Retailers (supermarkets, discount foods, Wal-Mart)

Global alue chain Local food production system

Local Retailers (supermarkets, convenience stores, street vendors)

Local Farmers

Local Food Producers

TNC Franchises (fast-food chains)

Local Franchises (fast-food & traditional)

Food Consumption Patterns (healthy and unhealthy diets)

Developing Countries

Source: Authors’ diagram.

The interaction between the global and local categories may be direct, such as setting up large farming operations and producing for local markets in developing countries, but it often is captured through indirect effects. For example, continuing with french fries, in 2007 China was the world’s leading potato producer, growing 72 million tons of potatoes, which is 23.3 percent of the world’s supply of spuds (FAO 2008). China’s domestic potato growers run their own farms, but they also sell to developed-country food manufacturers that operate divisions or subsidiaries in developing economies. Interestingly, McCain Foods, the largest manufacturer of frozen french fries, is also the second largest manufacturer of ethnic Chinese foods. McCain initially brought their food technology expertise overseas to change the way food is produced and presented to consumers in Taiwan. In addition to their consumption of modern processed foods from the West, the developing world is also creating processed versions of traditional dishes, such as dumplings, steamed buns, and rice rolls in China. These interactions are changing the traditional diets of developing countries by making more meals available for consumers in the fast food, calorie-rich format of developed countries, while utilizing the technological prowess of modern food processing to make these foods both abundant and cheap.

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