This week, I want to share a reflection on food cost's structure and the hard work that have been placed to get foods from farm to fork.
Today, we look at a diversified market where consumers are free to choose and food companies are strategically developed to meet consumers' demands and needs. Just compare the stores where we would get low-cost products versus a premium food products. There are different levels of market niche that have developed over time to meet everyone's need. Some consumers even go further into ethical purchasing with free trade.
Monetary value is a huge concern for most of us. Food Price Index, for example, is an economic index to measure the poverty level in a country. The question of why the food products could be few times higher than the price paid to the farmer or the harvester is obvious when you follow the money trail from farmers to the consumers.
Below is a simple illustration of how we get our fresh ingredients from the mother nature into a meal. Along the process flow, food needs to be transported from one channels to another and thus, incur transportation cost. Labour are needed to process the food or to facilitate the process and thus, incur labour cost. Then, comes the most important part, profit for the companies for their services.
Everyone likes to get cheap products. "The cheaper, the better". Personally, that is a bargain. From one channel to another channel, a percentage of profit is reap for providing services and the cost adds up and transfer over to the consumers.
As we are enjoying the low-cost food products, what is the monetary value left for our farmers, fishers and harvesters and the general labour? For every $1 we spend, how much goes back to them?
These people are still working for us, producing varieties of foods that we can enjoy on our dining table.
All I can do is say thank you for your commitment to continuously deliver foods to our table.
Felicia Loo is a food science graduate from UBC. With an interest in food marketing, she explores how food products are created, marketed, and distributed to an end users.
Copyright ©Felicia Loo 2015