Changing Demands

1. The growing demand from richer countries for high value food exports from poorer countries

2. All year demand for seasonal foodstuffs

3. Increasing demand for organic produce

4. Moves towards local/regional sourcing of foodstuffs




1 and 2.,The demand for high value food exports from poorer countries  and the demand for non-seasonal foodstuffs

This has come about as people become more affluent and can afford to pay more. We are also consuming more and demanding more exotic goods whenever we want them!  The food industry has become globalised in the last 50 years...


TASK A:  Describe what Figure 6.18 on page 228 tells us about the main imports of foodstuffs to the EU.


You could... Visit  your local supermarket and make a list of fruit and vegetables that are not British... or think about what you have eaten lately - (my last lot of sweetcorn was from Sengal!)

For example...When was the last time you ate strawberries or blueberries – where did they come from?


TASK B : - Give some examples of the food miles you generate!  OR give some examples from the map on page 229



What are the concerns that these trends raise? - for the countries supplying the products/the consumer/the farmer...


TASK C:   Complete this table and exam question  by referring back to the work we've done already relating to commercialisation - switching to cash crops (the green been video!), the role of TNCs, and  land grabbing


Government paper of the costs and benefits of air freighted foodstuffs from Africa. 


3. The increasing demand for organic produce


TASK D : Use pages 230/1 and the links via alevelgeog to help you...

·         Why are more consumers choosing organic foods?

·         Are there any disadvantages to the consumer?

·         What is 'organic'?

·         How does organic farming operate?

·         What are the limitations of switching to organic farming?


links to help...



watch this!


Arguments for organic farming include the lower environmental impact than conventional farming; synthetic pesticides are not used, diverse ecosystems are maintained and less energy is used and less waste generated. Health benefits are often also cited - farmers are not exposed to pesticides which cause stomach upsets and contain cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). There are also far fewer pesticide residues in organic products. Some people claim organic food tastes better but this has not been reliably proven in tests.

Arguments against organic farming are often related to the cost for the consumer as higher production costs arise due mainly to the more intensive use of labour. The appearanc e of organic vegetables is also less uniform and organic farmers say it is difficult to meet supermarket standards. (but this doesn't affect the nutritional value of the vegetables or fruit concerned!). Some people also argue that organic farming could never be developed on a large enough scale to meet the demands of food production on a global scale - others disagree - you decide!


Is it just for posh people?!


The Soil Association - click on 'Why Organic?' to get you started!


Best for the environment?

Is it really healthier?


Organic Boxes - Riverford is a well know one!


Can Organic Farming feed the world? An article from The Ecologist - but you can find lots more via google!!

Cuba - an organic revolution but can it be sustained?


4. Moves towards local/regional sourcing of food stuffs


TASK E - read Page 231/2 then answer...

Outline the advantages of locally and regionally sourcing foodstuffs.(6)

Are there any disadvantages? And for whom? (you won't find this in the book! - look here.)

Can you provide examples of...

·         Local independent stores

·         Farmers’ markets – your local one? Types of stalls? Local specialities?

·         Direct marketing (this links back to organic – e.g. Riverfords)

·         Supermarket chain initiatives – Use Booths as an example of a small chain in N England – but also find out about your local supermarket eg Waitrose–what’s on the shelves that is local/regional? How is it labelled? Compare its cost?


links to help...

Local/Regional Sourcing of Food Stuffs


Booths Supermarket chain


 Where's your local farmers' market?


Tesco - really?!  but is the only way to avoid eating horse?!  read this

Waitrose - what's their policy?


(work together on the tasks for issues 3 and 4 - click here)



What's been asked on the exam papers already?


To what extent can an increase in the demand for organic produce and locally sourced food be seen as environmentally and economically beneficial? (15)

- you can' t write this unless  you do the work above!  Use this document to help you plan your answer