SCIENTIFIC REPORTS - The spatial and temporal dynamics of global meat trade networksDOWNLOAD FILE
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS - The spatial and temporal dynamics of global meat trade networks
Rapid increases in meat trade generate complex global networks across countries. However, there has been little research quantifying the dynamics of meat trade networks and the underlying forces that structure them. Using longitudinal network data for 134 countries from 1995 to 2015, we combined network modeling and cluster analysis to simultaneously identify the structural changes in meat trade networks and the factors that influence the networks themselves. The integrated network approach uncovers a general consolidation of global meat trade networks over time, although some global events may have weakened this consolidation both regionally and globally. In consolidated networks, the presence of trade agreements and short geographic distances between pairs of countries are associated with increases in meat trade. Countries with rapid population and income growth greatly depend on meat imports. Furthermore, countries with high food availability import large quantities of meat products to satisfy their various meat preferences. The findings from this network approach provide key insights that can be used to better understand the social and environmental consequences of increasing global meat trade.