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Globalization of the Processed Foods Market

by Dennis R. Henderson, Charles Handy, and Steven A. Neff

Agricultural Economic Report No. (AER-742) 217 pp, April 1997

International commerce in processed foods substantially exceeds the value of unprocessed agricultural commodities and is expanding more rapidly. International trade in processed foods has been the most rapidly growing portion of world food and agricultural trade during the past decade. Even more significant, however, are sales from foreign affiliates of food manufacturing, grocery wholesaling and retailing, and food service firms. Foreign affiliation is acquired through foreign direct investment in foreign plants and facilities. U.S. food manufacturers' sales through foreign affiliates were more than quadruple the value of processed food exports from the United States. Foreign food manufacturers' sales through U.S. affiliates were more than double the value of processed food exports to the United States. Patterns of global commerce in processed foods are influenced by public policies addressing transportation, communication, rules for regional and multinational trade, food product and process standards, the environment, and intellectual property.

Keywords: processed foods, agricultural trade, world food, global market, foreign investment, foreign affiliates, foreign plants and facilities

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Last updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

For more information contact: Dennis R. Henderson, Charles Handy, and Steven A. Neff