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Changing Structure of Global Food Consumption and Trade

by Anita Regmi

Outlook No. (WRS-01-1) 111 pp, May 2001

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Higher income, urbanization, other demographic shifts, improved transportation, and consumer perceptions regarding quality and safety are changing global food consumption patterns. Shifts in food consumption have led to increased trade and changes in the composition of world agricultural trade. Given different diets, food expenditure and food budget responses to income and price changes vary between developing and developed countries. In developing countries, higher income results in increased demand for meat products, often leading to increased import of live-stock feed. Diet diversification and increasing demand for better quality and labor-saving products have increased imports of high-value and processed food products in developed countries. Consumer groups in developed countries have also brought attention to organic production of food and the topic of animal welfare. One way in which the public and private sectors have responded to consumer demand for these quality attributes has been by developing and implementing mandatory and voluntary quality control, management, and assurance schemes.

Keywords: Consumer demand, food trade, food consumptiopn, agricultural imports, urbanization, food safety, organic food, animal welfare, quality assurance, Agricultral Economics

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Last updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012

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