City Research Online

Food Retail and Distribution

Murray, S. & Caraher, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0615-839X (2019). Food Retail and Distribution. In: Lawrence, M. & Friel, S. (Eds.), Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems. (pp. 93-102). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781351189033


This chapter examines the global food retail and distribution situation with a specific focus on supermarkets. We explore the power and control that supermarkets have over the food supply chain, not only control over consumers (culture, choice and health) but also the control that supermarket buying desks have over food that is grown and produced via contracts and contract specifications. We focus on the UK and Australia, two countries which present overlapping and contrasting case studies of opportunities and barriers to changes in food provision. We suggest that the likely future trends shaping grocery and supermarket expansion will come in the virtual world of internet ordering and delivery. Lastly, we recommend the need for food retail and distribution to shift away from a ‘productionist’ paradigm to an ecologically-integrated approach providing an opportunity to transform food retail and distribution towards a business model that is supportive of a healthy and sustainable food system.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems on 18 October 2019, available online:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TX Home economics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
[thumbnail of HSFS Ch4 Sandy Martin FINAL 171218.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
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