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Global Commodity Chains and the Food Industry

             "A commodity chain is an intermediate unit of analysis, bigger than the nation-state but smaller than the entire world-system. A commodity chain is the interrelated system of production processes and economic transactions that creates a commodity such as coffee, and brings it to the point where it is purchased and used by the final consumer.".
             (Talbot, 2004, p.6).
             1.1 The food industry relies on commodity chains to function globally. A commodity chain is very complex, especially within the food industry, and this complexity can sometimes cast a shadow over some products and their origin, giving some firms the ability to control these chains. The food industry is not the only industry to be governed by commodity chains, many other industries such as the silver industry, all raw material industries, textiles, construction materials and even substances such as cocaine are often involved in commodity chains. It is a process that firms use to collect commodities for future consumers, by gathering resources and transforming or changing them, simply it is a process of goods travelling from producers to consumers, with possibly some alterations made to the product in between. Commodity chains are typically very opaque or shadowed, but in recent years they have become more transparent, allowing scandals and miss-advertisements to be obvious to possible consumers. A recent example of this would be the horse meat scandal. This study aims to show why these commodity chains exist, and which firms are key to controlling these chains within the food industry. .
             1.2 What distinguishes the food industry commodity chain is its ability to hide and conceal potentially dangerous or morally incorrect foods from the consumer due to its complexity and globalised state. This complexity and globalisation comes with the lifestyle that we live in today's age, with a vast variety of food imported from all over the world.

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