It is challenging to find an inclusive way to cover all aspects of food production and sale. The UK Food Standards Agency describes it thus:
“…the whole food industry – from farming and food production, packaging and distribution, to retail and catering.”
The Economic Research Service of the USDA uses the term food system to describe the same thing:
“The U.S. food system is a complex network of farmers and the industries that link to them. Those links include makers of farm equipment and chemicals as well as firms that provide services to agribusinesses, such as providers of transportation and financial services. The system also includes the food marketing industries that link farms to consumers, and which include food and fiber processors, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice establishments.”
The term food industries covers a series of industrial activities directed at the processing, conversion, preparation, preservation and packaging of foodstuffs. The food industry today has become highly diversified, with manufacturing ranging from small, traditional, family-run activities that are highly labor intensive, to large, capital-intensive and highly mechanized industrial processes. Many food industries depend almost entirely on local agriculture or fishing.
Agriculture is the process of producing food, feeding products, fiber and other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock). The practice of agriculture is also known as “farming”. Scientists, inventors, and others devoted to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be engaged in agriculture. 1 in 3 people worldwide are employed in agriculture, yet it only contributes 3% to global GDP.
Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fibre, and land reclamation. Agronomy encompasses work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. Agronomy is the application of a combination of sciences. Agronomists today are involved with many issues including producing food, creating healthier food, managing environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants.