Taste, Trade and Technology : The Development of the International Meat Industry since 1840 book cover
1st Edition

Taste, Trade and Technology
The Development of the International Meat Industry since 1840

ISBN 9781138258716
Published September 14, 2017 by Routledge
302 Pages

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Book Description

Focusing on the interactions of producers, sellers and consumers of meat across the world, Richard Perren elucidates aspects of the evolution of the international economy and the part played by the investment of capital and the enterprise of individuals. The study utilises the government reports and papers issued by all countries involved in the meat trade, including North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Britain. Beginning in the nineteenth century allows a comprehensive analysis of how an efficient meat exporting industry was built. The industry required investment, which was part of the general process of economic development. Perren focuses on the nature of the firms involved with the trade, the part played in the industry's development by foreign investment and the encouragement given by governments. Close attention is also paid to the stimulus of war, the impact of animal health and food hygiene regulations on producers and the competing demands of interest groups involved in the food businesses. By taking an historical as well as a contemporary approach, the book contributes to the current discussion on the effectiveness of animal and meat inspection in identifying farm livestock diseases such as tuberculosis and BSE. This study advances our knowledge of the process of food distribution in the industrialising and post-industrial economies, and leads to a comprehensive understanding of an important component of the international food chain.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction. Part 1 1840 to 1914: New suppliers; Technical advance; Capital and markets. Part 2 1914 to 1945: War and depression; Production and output; Government and business. Part 3 1945 to the Present: Shortages and plenty; Tastes and incomes; Government and questions of welfare. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Richard Perren is Reader in Economic History at the University of Aberdeen, UK.


'Here is a specialist at work, with satisfying results, although the book cannot have been easy to write because of its vast compass... This book will become and indispensable reference on the international meat trade because it is the only single volume to paint on such a wide canvass.' Economic History Review ’Taste, Trade and Technology is a major contribution to economic history in general and to agricultural and commercial history in particular. It is a masterful synthesis of interdisciplinary research and could only have been written by someone with a deep and clear understanding of both the history of meat processing and the workings of the international economy... there is something for any historian who want to find out how industrializing and post-industrial nations managed to satisfy demands for meat when domestic supplies were inadequate.’ Agricultural History Review ’... Perren does a remarkable job of pointing out global shifts without losing sight of the national politics and business conerns among the four important overseas sources of meat... Rather than simply describing the rise of a global trade, he provides a detailed picture of the fluctuations in the meat industry offset by war, population shifts, economic and industrial development, and the changing tastes of consumers... Perren has produced an important work, one that, at last, presents a broad and carefully detailed study of a dynamic industry characterized by multiple turns from scarcity to plenty, from necessity to distrust.’ Business History Review