This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is a study to explain and analyse some of the changes in this important sector of the food industry and important component of the international food chain. It is divided chronologically into three parts in which the themes already mentioned are explored. The book explores that in the mid-nineteenth century Europe was experiencing a chronic shortage of meat. The building up of an efficient meat exporting industry required investment was part of the general process of economic development. The book deals with the changes imposed on the international meat industry in the First World War and how it responded to them. It discusses events after the return to peace and the changes that took place between the wars. Attention is given to the factors behind the accumulation of agricultural surpluses, and how and industrial depression caused prices to fall.