Food for the Cities


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Processed foods

Urban lifestyles, growing distances between home and workplace, working women, and changes in family cohesion are all factors increasing the demand for shelf-stable, convenience (time-saving) and value-added foods. This has stimulated the rapid growth of food processing industries in urban areas, and created opportunities for income generation, employment and economic growth.

Urban food industries benefit from easier access to consumer markets, lower transport and distribution costs, and proximity to diverse services including information technology and waste treatment facilities. Competition for resources (land, water, labour and energy) often results in insufficient quantities and quality of water, unreliable electricity supply for powering processing equipment, unsanitary premises lacking appropriate facilities for disposing process waste, difficulty in accessing processing inputs including raw materials, packaging and equipment, and lack of trained staff.

Selected documents