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M. Bruna Zolin

In some emerging Asian countries, where there has been a gradual increase in income per capita and in population, especially in those countries where rice is the most important food, the need for food security and food safety can become an impediment to growth. The Asian continent has a shortage of available land and water resources compared to population. In some of the selected Asian countries in this chapter, namely Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, India and Japan, land scarcity is notable, while a dramatic deficiency in water is a common denominator. With increasing Asian urbanization, the need for processed foods has accentuated the importance of the food industry and of the retail sector whose outlets are not always sufficiently widespread and efficiently managed. Starting from this background, the aim of this chapter is to describe the food and beverages supply chain in the selected Asian countries, highlighting future trends and comparing the picture, where appropriate, with the European picture. Major international corporations, operating in the food supply chain, have in the mid-2010s launched or announced major investments in Asian countries. The chapter is divided into several sections. Starting with a brief description of the food supply chain, it goes on to analyse the dynamics of the food supply in quantitative and monetary per capita terms and then describes the strong dualism existing within the supply chain, focusing on selected Asian countries. Key words: food supply chain, multinational and small and medium-sized (SME) companies, dualism in the food sector, food security, food safety.