What is the Food Supply Chain?

If you’ve followed the news, or even tried to order something online lately, you may have noticed things taking a longer time than usual because of “supply chain issues”. If you were confused by the term “supply chain”, you are not alone. It turns out, there is a whole system called the food supply chain, which is an essential part of the food industry and how we all get our food. Basically, the food supply chain refers to all the parts that take our food from farm to table. This means the farmers, producers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, etc. are all parts the food supply chain. The way that the food supply chain works is very carefully thought out and is a meticulous process, meaning that if one part goes wrong, the rest of the chain is affected. This is why you may have noticed that in extreme weather events, food gets more expensive because the transportation aspect of the chain has become more difficult. Another key part to understand is that the price of a certain item is determined by its process through the food supply chain, meaning that what the consumer ends up paying gets dispersed throughout the different parts of the chain it had to go to (farmer, manufacturer, transporters, etc.). The food supply chain can be local, national, or international, depending on the goods and location. This system is incredibly important as it is what provides our food, and damage to it can cause food shortages and food insecurity.