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.