This pocketbook provides the reader with information on how the food chain evolves in Europe; it presents a range of statistical indicators for each step of this chain from the farm to the fork, passing from production on the farm, through food processing, to logistical activities such as importing, transporting and distributing, before reaching the end consumer either through purchases made in retail outlets or through the consumption of food and drink in cafés, bars and restaurants. Its aim is to give a summary of the data currently available within Eurostat s Food: from farm to fork database. The publication structure follows closely the approach adopted by the European Commission on food safety policy, and the indicators presented have been developed with this in mind. This publication may be viewed as a compendium of the data available within Eurostat on the food chain.
Structure of the publication
The aim of this publication is to provide readers with a balanced picture of the various stages along the food chain from farm to fork. The statistics presented are principally drawn from official data sources and in particular from the ‘farm to fork database’ produced by the statistical office of the European Communities (Eurostat); this database is supplemented by other official data sets most of which are sourced to Eurostat or other Directorate-Generals of the European Commission. The publication is not an exhaustive reflection of the data available, and it will often be possible to find more detailed statistics when referring to Eurostat’s on-line databases that are freely available to the general public (ec.europa.eu/eurostat).
The publication is divided into six different chapters reflecting the farm to fork food chain:
(i) an overview;
(ii) the farm production stage;
(iii) the food and beverages manufacturing/processing stage;
(iv) the wholesaling, transporting and external trade of foodand beverages;
(v) food and beverage retailing and consumer services;
(vi) consumption of food and beverages from the consumer’s perspective.
As far as possible, a common approach has been taken within each of these chapters starting with a section providing the context to the statistics presented, then a structural overview of the most salient aspects (information on the number of holdings/ enterprises and the number of persons employed). Most of the chapters also include an analysis of inputs and outputs, and where possible details of externalities that are generated as a result of food chain activities (particularly regarding environmental consequences).
The consumer stage of the publication is rather different from the other sections as it looks at apparent consumption, consumption expenditure, consumer price developments, health data, and a number of survey results concerning consumer attitudes to food and beverage-related issues.
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