Last week I linked an article reporting that rich countries are trashing up to half of all food. Our distribution channels are good but we tend to waste a lot of food through our consumption habits. Emerging nations are wasting food too, but for different reasons. Distribution channels are so bad that great quantities of food are wasted in transit. Furthermore, because the distribution channels are so bad, and food must pass through so many middle-men, it is often more expensive than it would otherwise need to be.
Business Insider now reports:
Last fall, following a relaxation in India’s foreign-investment rules, [Wal-Mart] said it was planning to open its first stores in the country in the next two years, tapping into a prized $490 billion retail sector. But to cash in, Wal-Mart and other foreign retailers will have to solve a fundamental problem: how to move goods into stores efficiently in a country that offers big retailers little in the way of modern logistics and is plagued by dilapidated infrastructure.
The hurdles are particularly daunting in the food sector, which makes up more than half of the revenues at the Bentonville, Ark.- based company.
Watch this video by the Wall Street Journal as the document the route of food from field to table. Here the age old cry of the various agents in present decrepit system opposing streamlined distribution for fear of losing their positions. The reality is that if distribution improves, then food will become cheaper, people will have more disposable income, people will eat better, people will become more productive, and all this will in turn lead to the formation of new businesses and jobs. I'm not saying the change will be painless and that some will not suffer in the process but I suspect the trade-off for the masses in terms of improved quality of life is huge.
Indian Road Trip: Produce's Long Haul to Market by WSJ_Live