Wholesale marketing of food
The consumption and production of marketed food are spatially separated. Production is primarily in rural areas while consumption is in urban areas. Agricultural marketing is the process that overcomes this separation, allowing produce to be moved from an area of surplus to one of need. Food reaches the consumer by a complex network, involving production, assembly, sorting, packing, reassembly, distribution and retail stages. In developing countries the linkage between the producer and the retailer is still usually provided by assembly and wholesale markets, where wholesale marketing takes place using a variety of transaction methods. Recent years have seen an expansion of wholesale marketing in European and former CIS countries. On the other hand, the growth of supermarkets in many regions has seen the development of direct marketing and a reduced role for wholesale systems.