Food Provenance (Part 6) - Consumers

Over the last six weeks we have covered many of the consumer touch points of buying food and how these are affected by where it originated. We, as consumers, are the guiding influence behind how food is produced and encourage both the good and bad routes in which it is currently supplied. To round up our blog series, we will revisit each of the affected touch points and explain how our responsibility as consumers affects each.

Farmers (Read more)


In our first article, we spoke about the growing pressures that farmers are under and specifically how a few things have altered their practice in recent years:

  • The growth of international travel and how the import and export market from international countries has grown.
  • The supermarket squeeze - where large conglomerates are choosing the price at heavily reduced rates to buy farmed produce.
  • Route to market - their are so fewer options which give farmers the opportunity to sell direct to the consumer.

With this in mind, if you get a chance, try to alter a few things in your next shop - try buying direct from a farmers market and if not look for both local and the best produce from the supermarket to ensure the farmer is getting the most for their hard work.

Distributors (Read more)


In this article, we looked at some of the potential implications that arise when food is to go through a long distribution chain and isn’t bought locally:

  • Health safety around infection in food throughout the supply chain will always be a concern
  • Environmentally unfriendly - longer travel is obviously less sustainable
  • Assurance of product - in recent years we have seen cases where the consumer can buy products which falsely contain produce they don’t know about.

Buying local produce can save on many of these potential issues and even though this may not be possible for all your food shopping, make a conscious effort to change your habits and you’ll be surprised how much you can find.

Markets (Read more)


In this article, we touched on a sensitive issue around whether all market stalls we still selling the best local produce or whether some may have potentially given in to selling on cheaper produce, similar to that found out your conglomerate supermarket. We looked at the questions you could ask to get to the bottom of this. As consumers, we should all be slightly skeptical about what we’re buying and the better we question the origins of food, the greater we will be rewarded in the nicer food we can make.

Restaurants (Read more)


This final part of the blog series explored the growing pressures surrounding restaurants with rising prices and touched on similar issues around the corners they might cut to make greater margins on the dishes they serve. Similarly to our blog on markets, as consumers we both have the right and should take the initative to ask the questions there and then about the produce which has made the dish.

We really hope you’ve enjoyed or blog series on Food Provenance and in the new year we will begin a new topic around food culture so keeping visiting the City Pantry blog for more.