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Passnotes on multinational supply chains and the UK food industry (John Harris Guardian 11th February 2013)

What is this article about?

Why is its core subject matter important to for your understanding of the BE 413 module?

What are the key issues identified by the article?

How are the issues raised by the article likely to affect the following stakeholders:

• Individual consumers?

• Food manufacturers?

• Retailers?

• Civil society as a whole ?

• The state and regulatory authorities?

What is this article about?

Guardian journalist John Harris argues that ‘This ever widening story cuts to the heart of how messed up our eating and shopping habits have become’.

Why is its core subject matter important to for your understanding of the BE 413 module?

• You should be aware that the processed meat scare that began with an investigation of the Findus company has widened to in ways that have created profound uncertainties about the integrity of the European food supply chain. Previously well established forms of regulation have been undermined by the search for ever lower costs in food production, extended supply chains and deep cuts in the food standards agencies and environmental health controls

• the key issue is that these supply chains are inherently complex, unaccountable and frequently hidden from public view, thus representing a source of complexity and risk to public health

• The material presented by Harris can be interrogated further using stakeholder analysis as featured in Morrison (2009). Typical class of 15-20 students can be split up into 3 or 4 groups to consider the following:

- individual consumers are faced with conflicting messages from government and the food industry

- Food manufacturers are themselves less than sure about the sources of their food

- Recent variants on the story shows that retailers are also operating under conditions of...
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