The U.S. there has a lot of food on the grocery store shelves. The food supply system is very healthy. Question is, will it always be this way?
Because the supply of food to the cities, urban areas, and suburbia implies that food is being produced and transported in from rural areas or imported, we should understand that the many complicated systems that make this work are integral to keep the food supply system working. Sometimes risks are involved in a system that depends on certain things to work stays as it is.
In case of disaster, how much food supply is in the system to keep everyone fed? And what would happen or how long would it take to ‘fix’ a broken food supply chain?
There are more to think about. For example, the food supply chain systems include:
These allow cities, urban areas and suburbia (basically ‘everyone’) to meet their food requirements. Each of these activities (functions) are performed by different ‘players’, and they include:
They all need their infrastructure, facilities, employees, and services. Every step of the food supply chain requires human resources and ‘natural resources’. The System is such that each element within it influences other elements with a cause and effect reciprocal relationships.
Consumers want their food through the supply chain while food producers and food processors provide the food through the chain.
The system eliminates the need for inventory build-up along the many stages of the chain. In other words, very little warehousing – just enough to keep the system working smoothly. Each of the elements within the chain have their own JIT functionality whereby their actions are based on forecast models which may affect their portion of the chain. Things like demand (obviously), profit motives (obviously), season, past history, availability, potential deviations, etc..
As you can begin to see, there’s quite a bit that happens behind the scenes to get food from the farm to your table. So with that being said. “How much food supply is within the system?”
The shorter the food supply chain from farm to table – the less risk of disruption for you. Obviously if you had your own farm or garden and if you preserved your bounty for off-season, you can’t get any shorter than that. But it’s when your food comes from South America in the winter (as one example) that the thousands of miles (and every element in-between) becomes a potential risk for disruption.