Introduction to Food Distribution Systems

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Food Distribution Systems (FDS) are a group of human and, increasingly, autonomous robotic activities that link those who produce the food in the first instance and those who eat and drink it.

It has been like this since human society emerged and we started to specialise in doing some tasks for which we had particular aptitude relying on others to do equally vital and complementary tasks.

FDS are central to human societies.

They need to be designed with the purpose of being able to feed the entire population safely, nutritiously and sustainably, resilient to all the challenges that FDS are facing like climate change, population changes, volatility in production, new technologies, markets dynamics and consumption.


Dr. David Hughes is a much sought-after speaker at international conferences and seminars on global food industry issues, particularly consumer and retail trends.

David has lived and worked in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa and South East Asia and has extensive experience as an international advisory board member with food companies and financial service organisations on three continents.

For 20 years, he was a Non-Executive Director of Berry Gardens Ltd – a U.K. farmer-owned berry fruit business (£230 million turnover in 2015).

With his American business partner, David established, grew and sold a branded fresh produce business which served supermarkets in the USA.

Around the globe, he works with food and beverage supply chain companies – including farm input, growers, manufacturers and ingredient companies, retailers and food service firms – to assist them in management training, strategy and Board level decision-making.

David’s views are frequently sought by TV, radio and the printed press.


Every effort has been made to ensure the relevance of the course and its factual correctness. However, the world of food & agriculture is vast and complex. Please take time to research your local context, restrictions and regulations before you apply any learning from Digital School of Food and Agriculture.