Food systems are interlocking networks of relationships that encompass functions of producing, processing, marketing, consuming, and disposing of goods from agriculture, forestry, or fisheries. In other words, it involves all activities that are needed to produce and transform food, and ensure it reaches people.
Food systems can be categorized into three stages:
- Food Production: includes activities primarily conducted by farmers such as land clearing and preparation, agronomy and management, and harvesting
Food transformation: encompasses all functions linking the first and third levels of the food system, including transport, storage and handling, processing, and wholesaling, and retailing.
- Food consumption: focuses on purchasing and utilization, and is concerned with reaching consumers and feeding populations.