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Supermarkets governance of the agri-food supply chain: Is the corporate-environmental food regime evident in Australia?

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Abstract

This article investigates the extent to which the purported greening of food retailing and consumption in Australia is consistent with the development of a corporate-environmental food regime. Recent developments in food regime theory, particularly the concept of an emerging third food regime (the so-called corporate-environmental food regime), provide a useful organizing framework for understanding recent agri-restructuring trends. We find that, while a globally based, third food regime is becoming more apparent, the attributes that relate to corporate retail-driven greening of the supply chain are less evident within Australias domestic market than in its EU counterparts. However, there is some evidence that Australias export market is subject to some degree of greening at a distance due to private regulations imposed by supermarkets overseas. We argue that while broader agri-restructuring trends may be evident at an international level, elements of greening specific to national contexts are important for determining the trajectory of any third food regime.

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... There is an increased interest in the environmental and social sustainability of food production and consumption, particularly in wealthier parts of Europe (Smith et al. 2010). This interest has been taken up by the retail sector, and there are today a wide variety of 'sustainable' choices for consumers to make in European supermarkets (Burch et al. 2013;Chkanikova and Mont 2015;Freidberg 2014;Ponte and Cheyns 2013;Thompson and Lockie 2013). 1 Promoting 'sustainable' choices can be seen as a way for supermarkets to take some responsibility for the negative side-effects of today's food production and consumption. ...
... 1 Although consumer pressure has been pointed out as an important source for the increasing focus on 'sustainable food' in the retail sector (Smith et al. 2010), we do not include consumers in this study. There are two reasons for this. ...
... ICA, the Swedish food and multiple retailer, currently controls over 50% of the food retail market in Sweden (Brännström 2015). There is now talk of a third 'corporate-environmental food regime' (Friedmann 2005;Smith et al. 2010), of which Sweden clearly is part, where sustainability interests increasingly influence the food system and where food production is largely governed by the retail sector. Following the general trend in the sector (Freidberg 2014), ICA has increased its control over actors upstream. ...
Article
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Swedish beef and dairy farmers are currently facing a challenging financial situation. Simultaneously, beef farming contributes significant environmental impacts. To support farmers, actors from the whole value chain are now promoting Swedish beef as particularly ‘sustainable’. The paper draws on critical discourse analysis of interviews with and documents from the largest Swedish supermarket chain ICA, Swedish farmer organisations and farmers to study how ICA and farmers articulate sustainability and their responsibility for the same. Articulations are subsequently discussed in the light of actual environmental impacts of beef production and the distribution of power in the beef value chain. The findings suggest that negative environmental impacts and farmers’ struggles are largely hidden in the dominant articulation of sustainability. Furthermore, ICA does not use the power it has to steer consumers toward reduced beef consumption. We conclude with suggesting more open deliberation about current levels of beef sales and consumption and about what compromises to make when striving for ‘sustainable’ beef consumption.
... These documents were published in a wide range of study disciplines, with the highest number relating to food policy or food systems (20/68) (10,15,21,25,58,60,61,(64)(65)(66)(67)(68)(73)(74)(75)83,(91)(92)(93)95). In addition, there were seven documents for each topic related to competition law (86,87,102-104,106,109), retailing (22,57,62,89,90,96,105) and governance (23,63,71,78,88,94,100); there were six sociology and political science studies (54)(55)(56)70,72,101); there were four for each topic related to business (59,(97)(98)(99), agriculture or agricultural economics (53,77,80,81) and public health (18,84,107,108); three documents were related to rural society or communities (3,52,76); there were two marketing studies (69,82); and there was one for each topic related to preventive medicine (34), international development (1), labour relations (85) and geography (79). ...
... The framework for conceptualizing corporate power in food governance (11) was referred to by nine studies (15,58,59,(62)(63)(64)74,76,94). In addition, food regimes theory (111) was referred to by five documents (53,54,61,80,95); and three documents referred to multiple frameworks or theories (55,60,71). Authority or trust was the focus of three documents (75,83,93); one document referred to 'Big Food', which describes dominant food businesses (92); two documents referred to an ecological framework of the influences on food choice (1,112); one referred to the process of supermarket domination or 'supermarketization' (3); one referred to global value chain analysis, which identifies how supply and demand can be influenced (66); one referred to the regulatory network analysis approach to policy analysis (72); one referred to corporate political activity (18); and one referred to systemic power or the power of one actor over the whole system of another actor (69). ...
... Food safety and quality Through implementing private quality standards, supermarkets have had positive effects on food safety and quality (15,22,23,53,(61)(62)(63)(64)66,71,81,82,94,95), resulting in a safe food supply (3,15,56,62,67,75). However, supermarkets now use private standards to exert control over aspects of food production that extends beyond food safety, including cosmetic appearance of fresh produce, and social and environmental considerations such as fair trade standards (1,23,58,65,67,68,(71)(72)(73)(74)(75)(76)80,94,95). ...
... For example, the rollout of initiatives such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Standards, and the UK grocery chain Tesco's Nature's Choice (Ghosh 2014;Lin 2014); and GLOBALGAP in Europe (Smith, Lawrence, and Richards 2010) point to the desire of food system actors to address practical challenges through a combination of multiple frameworks and approaches. The section below discusses three key lessons gleaned from a review of the theoretical frameworks and food system governance initiatives around the world, highlighting them as recommendations to guide future food governance initiatives. ...
... In several other countries, smallholder farmers have wrestled for themselves a substantial portion of coffee export markets to improve their livelihoods, using Fair Trade as a market-entry tool (Bacon 2010). At the global level, GlobalGAP, uses market-based certification schemes to drive sustainability goals in the food system (Arora et al. 2013;Smith, Lawrence, and Richards 2010). Price premiums paid to farmers remain the strongest economic incentive for actors to adopt social and agri-environmental standards (Bacon 2010). ...
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While theoretical frameworks of food system governance simplify complex food system phenomena, they may ignore other occurrences outside their framework boundaries, and the practical considerations informing actual governance initiatives. This article discusses governance frameworks such as alternative food networks, bioregions and foodsheds, rural-urban linkages, short food supply chains, and city-region food systems; and draws insights from real-life governance initiatives to demonstrate the practical considerations that inform such initiatives. It concludes that a) localized grievances inform governance responses, b) globalization and localization need not be delinked, and c) while alternative voices are valuable, markets are important for food systems sustainability.`K
... As such the demand for alternative and sustainably produced food in the Australian market is increasing (Australian Organic, 2018;Deloitte, 2019;Spencer, 2016). Unlike European food retailers, the major food retailers in Australia have not responded to this demand, which creates an opportunity for smaller producers (Smith et al., 2010), who are well positioned to respond to demand for food produced outside of corporate structures. Food that is marketed as healthier and sustainably produced attracts a higher premium (Nielsen, 2015) and can be produced intensively on smaller plots of land. ...
... Instead of competing in this system she opts for the organic market as it is not crowded by larger producers and retailers. Supermarkets have not attempted to rebrand themselves as environmentally sustainable and the organic line in the two major supermarket chains in Australia represents only 2-5% of total sales (Smith et al., 2010). While selling directly to consumers and through shorter supply chains is an opportunity for the women in this study to overcome the disadvantage of producing smaller quantities, it does represent additional work that productivist producers who sell through mainstream supply chains do not incur. ...
Article
This research examines how female agricultural producers are responding to the cost-price squeeze of Australian agriculture. Thirty-six in-depth interviews were conducted with female producers in a variety of sectors from across Australia. In order to maintain viability female producers are seeking alternative methods of production and marketing, rather than pursing economies of scale. Female producers are seeking alternatives to hegemonic agriculture due to its gendered financial and social constraints. This involves the sustainable production of niche products on smaller plots of land and direct marketing to capture more of the economic value of their products and to reduce risk. This research highlights ways in which producers can stay on farm and contribute to the creation of alternate food systems. It represents an alternative to the competitive productivist agricultural approach of “get big or get out” and improves the visibility of women farmers and a shift in the masculinist construction of farming. These alternative production and marketing methods have the potential to benefit Australian agriculture, rural communities, to create more equal gender regimes and to improve environmental sustainability.
... It can be noted that, green marketing has become an important component of most companies' marketing process (Thakur & Gupta, 2012). The importance of environmental stewardship is also emphasized by green marketing (Smith, Lawrence & Richards, 2010). Nowadays people are highly concerned about environmental protection and are willing to consume those products which are environmentally friendly (Saxena & Khandelwal, 2010). ...
... Peattie & Crane (2005) define a product as being 'green' when, in manufacture, use or discarding, its environmental and societal functioning, are considerably improved, relative to a traditional product. Smith, Lawrence & Richards (2010) regard the main measures of a green product as being that of green design, green labelling, green packaging and green procurement. The idea of green marketing is that the concern of companies should be centered on what ensues during and after a product's usefulness (Gale, 2006). ...
Article
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The focus of this paper is to present an exploratory study on the level of awareness regarding green marketing and its managerial implications, among selected, South African Manufacturing Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), in the province of KwaZulu–Natal (KZN). The concept of green marketing and thought provoking managerial implications are still an issue of concern in the South African manufacturing sector. The study aimed to explore the awareness levels about green marketing by selected South African manufacturing SMMEs in KZN, and the resulting managerial implications. Primary data was collected from 84 manufacturing SMMEs. This research was quantitative in nature and a questionnaire was used to collect data from SMMEs owners/managers in KZN. Findings of the research indicate that SMMEs in the study are aware of green marketing and its managerial implications. It further reveals that SMMEs’ owners/managers indicate that the South African Environmental Act and Consumer Protection Act are additional factors that influence their businesses operations. The paper will benefit SMMEs owners/managers, SMMEs marketing managers, and affiliated stakeholders, by introducing a new understanding of green marketing and how to cope with the demand of new green marketing strategies. Most work on the Green Zone has concentrated on green products, with little emphasis on green marketing and its implications. The findings are limited by the study’s exploratory, quantitative nature and small sample. Generalisation should be done with care and further research, with a large sample and consideration of other provinces, is therefore recommended.
... Mais ainda, por estarem em sintonia imediata com os consumidores, detêm o elo entre a demanda e as fontes globais de suprimento enquanto captam mais facilmente as preferências de consumo formadas em cada espaço social. Nessa posição, adotam práticas de rastreabilidade, arregimentando quem produz segundo as exigências de quem consome, fazendo com que a ideia de alimento oriundo de qualquer lugar (food from nowhere), para descrever o sistema alimentar, seja adicionada à de alimento de algum lugar específico (food from somewhere) 9 . ...
Article
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RESUMO O artigo traz uma discussão sobre a conexão entre saúde coletiva e agroecologia como promotoras de saúde, como expressão de sistemas alimentares sustentáveis e saudáveis orientados pelo princípio de Soberania e Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional (SSAN). A noção de regime alimentar corporativo ou neoliberal orienta a interpretação das transformações do sistema alimentar no contexto da ordem global neoliberal, a partir da qual é possível detectar suas fragilidades. Assim, é dada atenção a tendências contra-hegemônicas impulsionadas por movimentos sociais e formas alternativas de produção e abastecimento alimentar. O regime alimentar neoliberal concentrado no poder das grandes corporações, capazes de capturar o aparelho de Estado, é marcado por práticas desiguais e destrutivas, que expulsam povos dos seus territórios, expropriam a natureza, contaminam solos, água, ar e alimentos, adoecem e matam pessoas e o ambiente. Em oposição, entendem-se a agroecologia e a saúde coletiva como campos contra-hegemônicos que promovem sistemas alimentares sustentáveis e saudáveis. Dessa forma, apoiado nessa análise, é necessário construir uma base de conhecimento interdisciplinar que dê solidez conceitual e visibilidade a outro sistema alimentar coeso e sustentado nos princípios da SSAN, no direito humano à alimentação adequada, na valorização da vida humana e respeito à natureza.
... It should be noted that whilst reductions in intensity internationally have largely been driven through government intervention, that is not the whole story. Private sector schemes have developed that address these issues in response to the concerns of consumers [59]. For example, Tesco, the UK supermarket chain, introduced Nature's Choice in 1991 which tied supply contracts to practices enhancing the environmental performance of the production system and Marks and Spencer launched Plan A in 2007 with the aim of making all their activities carbon neutral as well as helping their suppliers cut their emissions. ...
Article
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Internationally there is a desire to transition farming systems towards more sustainable production in response to global and local social and environmental challenges. This transition has often been linked with a movement towards ‘sustainable intensification’ which, although having advantages, has raised questions about a lack of attention to, for example, social and ethical consideration of food and fibre production. Whilst there is general consensus that a transition is required, what is much less clear is what transitioned agricultural sectors would look like in terms of land-use configurations and how such a change can be achieved. Using New Zealand as an example, this paper provides some initial views on what such a reconfiguration may entail. The paper identifies and assesses a range of possible alternative land use configurations that, in general, lead to landscape/regional diversification. The importance of incorporating new high value low intensity (niche) systems into the landscape is highlighted. Development of these niches to achieve scale is shown to be key to the transition process. The joint role of the private (through markets) and public (through policy) sectors in driving the transition is highlighted.
... Similarly, discursive power is referred to as the "most insidious" and "least visible" form of power ( Depending on their location in the food supply chain, food companies exercise varying degrees of influence over other food companies, producers or eaters (Burch & Lawrence 2009;Winson 2004). For example, food retailers influence consumer choices through their selling power but also farmer livelihoods via their buying power, which leads some scholars to argue that they have replaced food manufacturers as the most powerful food system actor (Burch & Lawrence 2005;Smith, Lawrence & Richards 2010). Food companies also exist in different political and market contexts and face differing regulatory threats and market opportunities due to the different foods (and non-foods) in their portfolios (Access to Nutrition Index 2018; Hawkes & Harris 2011;Lang, Rayner & Kaelin 2006). ...
Thesis
Background Soft drink corporations face scrutiny from governments and public health experts for the contribution of their products to obesity and non-communicable diseases. Historically, the soft drink industry sought to deny the contribution of its products to the incidence of obesity and undermine public health policies that it perceived as threatening. This oppositional strategy has evolved into a more conciliatory approach, in which the soft drink industry has sought to position itself as “part of the solution” to obesity though the implementation of corporate health promotion strategies. This thesis begins with the proposition that, like lobbying and more overtly oppositional political strategies, corporate health promotion is fundamentally a political strategy. To interrogate this proposition, this thesis explores the political dimensions and consequences of corporate health promotion. It aims to answer the following research question: How and why has the soft drink industry attempted to position itself as “part of the solution” to obesity? Methods This thesis analyses three case studies of corporate health promotion strategies used by the Australian soft drink industry: its provision of nutrition education and information; its reformulation of soft drinks to reduce calories and sugar; and its engagement with the policy process via the development of self-regulation. This thesis also explores the various forms of power that corporate stakeholders exercise to minimise the risk of government regulation and to maintain the sales of their products, including instrumental, structural and discursive forms of power. Results The first case study analysed the different forms of nutrition education and information that the Australian Beverages Council and Coca-Cola Australia provided to the Australian public. This study found that most initiatives informed consumers about the importance of calorie counting, which benefited the soft drink industry in several ways. The second case study analysed how Coca-Cola Australia’s product reformulation practices and communications evolved. This study found that Coca-Cola Australia’s reformulation initiatives changed from a strategy of “offering variety” to “stealth sugar reformulations.” The third case study analysed the political rationales and practices underpinning the Australian Beverages Council’s development and promotion of self-regulation in response to obesity. This study found that the Australian Beverages Council’s approach to obesity changed from denying the role of soft drinks in obesity to creating self-regulation and funding research to demonstrate that its industry was part of the solution. Conclusions The Australian soft drink industry gradually changed how it communicates and practices corporate health promotion in response to obesity. Comparisons between the case studies reveal that some of these changes cluster around similar periods, which coincide with transformations in the corporate health promotion strategies of the global soft drink industry and other food and beverage manufacturers internationally. A key finding is that corporate health promotion offers a range of political benefits for the soft drink industry that amplify its political power and make it easier to exercise political power and influence in the future. This thesis contributes to the growing body of scholarship interrogating the political power of the packaged and fast food industry and its influence on food and nutrition governance.
... These findings are consistent with previous research, which found that supermarkets enforce rules about acceptable food safety and product quality to manage reputational risk [117], and their standards are typically more stringent than government food safety standards [118]. Suppliers are required to provide assurance of food safety to enable them to do business with supermarkets [119]; however, these standards are not communicated to consumers on labels [120]. Supermarkets make important decisions regarding food safety risks that affect public health [121], suggesting that increased transparency regarding the standards set and levels of compliance is needed. ...
Article
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Improving population diets is a public health priority, and calls have been made for corporations such as supermarkets to contribute. Supermarkets hold a powerful position within the food system, and one source of power is supermarket own brand foods (SOBFs). Many of the world’s largest supermarkets have corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies that can impact public health, but little is known about their quality or practical application. This study examines the nature and quality of Australian supermarkets’ CSR policies that can impact public health nutrition, and provides evidence of practical applications for SOBFs. A content analysis of CSR policies was conducted. Evidence of supermarkets putting CSR policies into practice was derived from observational audits of 3940 SOBFs in three large exemplar supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, IGA) in Perth, Western Australia (WA). All supermarkets had some CSR policies that could impact public health nutrition; however, over half related to sustainability, and many lacked specificity. All supermarkets sold some nutritious SOBFs, using marketing techniques that made them visible. Findings suggest Australian supermarket CSR policies are not likely to adequately contribute to improving population diets or sustainability of food systems. Setting robust and meaningful targets, and improving transparency and specificity of CSR policies, would improve the nature and quality of supermarket CSR policies and increase the likelihood of a public health benefit.
... Labuschagne et al., 2005) or the retail sector (e.g. Smith et al., 2010) and fail to implement a systemic perspective. Furthermore, studies about food supply chains (e.g. ...
Thesis
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Agri-food systems are confronted with sustainability challenges such as climate change, price volatility and retaining consumer trust. Agri-food systems are complex, dynamic systems involving multiple actors such as science, policy, industry and civil society. To tackle these challenges, a transformation of the agri-food system towards sustainability is essential. Therefore, collective effort and actions are required. The rationale of this dissertation stems from the observation that although multiple agri-food networks arise, most of these networks fall short in realising their objective or cease before any changes are made. The aim of this dissertation thus is to explore the potential of new agrifood networks in food system transformations. We applied systems thinking, combining systems approaches and transdisciplinary research. Systems thinking in practice can help to address four societal challenges, namely sustainability as a multidimensional and normative concept, complex processes in a dynamic agri-food system, new types of organisation in agri-food networks, and the presence of multiple heterogeneous actors with diverse visions. Throughout the dissertation, eight agri-food networks were analysed and compared with an emphasis on multi-actor collaboration, their governance, their culture and reflexive evaluation.
... By being self-employed entrepreneurs, and highly dependent on market prices, weather, and changing policies and prices, farmers may also be particularly exposed to stress resulting from vulnerability to external factors that they cannot control (Kolstrup et al. 2011;Statistics Sweden et al. 2012). In addition, recent research indicates that many farmers across the world feel increasingly exposed to global market fluctuations, and believe in many cases that the state has stepped back from supporting them (Smith et al. 2010;Thompson et al. 2013). This applies also in Europe (European Commission 2016) and in Sweden, where a recent publication shows that Swedish farmers feel financial pressure and believe that the Swedish government could do more to secure their interests (Fischer and Röös 2018). ...
Article
Recent research indicates that sustainability assessment tools (SAT) for farms need to be contextually adapted to be acceptable and useful. Focusing specifically on social sustainability , this study sought to identify important aspects of relevance for Swedish (livestock) farmers' social situation and compare these aspects with social indicators used in three existing SATs (RISE, SAFA, IDEA). A survey revealed that social issues of key importance for the self-reported overall life satisfaction of Swedish livestock farmers are: having a good financial situation, having a similar standard of living as others, not experiencing too much stress, having meaningful work, having decent working hours, and having a desirable family situation. Of the three SATs evaluated, RISE appears best equipped to capture the social situation of Swedish farmers but does not fully address the aspect of finding work meaningful. SAFA and IDEA both fail to capture many aspects of importance for describing the social situation of Swedish farmers. We present a novel method for testing the relevance of social indicators for farmers in a specific context. Applying this method before choosing, applying, and adapting SATs for farm-level sustainability assessments would increase the relevance of the social sustainability dimension, but deeper stakeholder engagement than offered by our survey is needed. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Apart from redefining the relationship between suppliers and retailers, the shift from being a retailer to being a center of solutions orchestrating a network of resources (Bradford and Sherry 2013) would be considered from a holistic perspective. Clients cannot be held only as purchasers or as consumers, on the contrary, they must be considered as employee, as citizens, as learners, as association members, or simply as people who feel like members of the "global village" (Smith, Lawrence, and Richards 2010). This particular focus on the client, who has an increasing need for protection, can in the case of certain brands lead to the development of a truly educational role for the retailer. ...
Article
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By calling the present condition of the French food retail industry an interregnum, this research considers the impact of liquid modernity on this sector and looks for signs of a new order at a designing stage. Nine experts representing large retailers and entrepreneurs using alternative modes of food retailing were interviewed. An interpretive analysis reveals a wide diversity of changes. Following Bauman’s liquid metaphor, we identify shock, transformations, and crisis in food retailing, which we describe as phases that mark the dynamics in the shift from solid to liquid retailing. We discuss how retailers are adapting and deploying tactics both to respond and belong to these liquid times and how retailers can regain some legitimacy by claiming a role in territorial sovereignty.
... Australia and New Zealand, as major food suppliers for the world, have mature FSCM in terms of consolidation of food industry partners and supply chain integrations. Australia proposed a green supply network where the consumers are able to seek to secure food 2093 Food supply chain management (Smith et al., 2010). Recently, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization launched a digital agriculture plan to help Australian farmers and food industry parties to improve productivity and sustainability. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the food supply chain management (FSCM) in terms of systems and implementations so that observations and lessons from this research could be useful for academia and industrial practitioners in the future. Design/methodology/approach A systematical and hierarchical framework is proposed in this paper to review the literature. Categorizations and classifications are identified to organize this paper. Findings This paper reviews total 192 articles related to the data-driven systems for FSCM. Currently, there is a dramatic increase of research papers related to this topic. Looking at the general interests on FSCM, research on this topic can be expected to increase in the future. Research limitations/implications This paper only selected limited number of papers which are published in leading journals or with high citations. For simplicity without generality, key findings and observations are significant from this research. Practical implications Some ideas from this paper could be expanded into other possible domains so that involved parties are able to be inspired for enriching the FSCM. Future implementations are useful for practitioners to conduct IT-based solutions for FSCM. Social implications As the increasing of digital devices in FSCM, large number of data will be used for decision-makings. Data-driven systems for FSCM will be the future for a more sustainable food supply chain. Originality/value This is the first attempt to provide a comprehensive review on FSCM from the view of data-driven IT systems.
... Az FMCG/Food szektorban az elmúlt évtizedben a kiskereskedelmi láncok szerepének és arányának növekedése, illetve a kiegészítő és a helyi ellátási láncok szerepének visszaszorulása volt tapasztalható. Smith et al. (2010) az élelmiszer-ipari ellátási láncokban a döntéshozói hatalom alapján három korszakot különböztet meg: 1) 1870-es évek -II. világháború az alapanyag-termelők voltak a döntéshozók, a fogyasztóknak minimális befolyása volt a termelésre, 2) 1950-es évek -1990-es évek: a feldolgozóipar vállalatai kerültek erőfölénybe, 3) 1990-es évektől napjainkig: a kiskereskedelmi láncok dominanciája tapasztalható a megnövekedett fogyasztói elvárások (minőség, biztonság, etikai kérdések) mellett. ...
Article
A gyorsan változó piaci igények, illetve az ellátásilánc-menedzsment kritikus szerepe az igényeknek való megfelelésben, valamint az integrált ellátási láncok nyújtotta potenciális előnyök mind olyan tényezők, amelyeket a vállalatok ma már nem hagyhatnak figyelmen kívül. Ugyanakkor ezek az előnyök csak akkor realizálhatók, ha az ellátási lánc egyes szereplői között kellő szorosságú együttműködési formák alakulnak ki. A partnerkapcsolatok ellátási lánc mentén történő kialakítását azonban döntően befolyásolják a lánctagok közötti erőviszonyok. A tanulmány az FMCG/food szektor ellátási láncaira jellemző hatalmi viszonyokkal foglalkozik, különös tekintettel arra, hogy az erőviszonyok miként befolyásolják a szektor kis- és középvállalkozásainak működését, partnerkapcsolatait. A szerzők – nemzetközi kutatási eredményeket alapul véve – élelmiszer-ipari KKV-k körében végeztek kérdőíves lekérdezést. Ennek eredményeit felhasználva, a partnerkapcsolatokban megnyilvánuló hatalmi viszonyok és a vállalati jövedelmezőség, illetve néhány egyéb ellátási láncbeli sajátosság (a kapcsolatok szorossága, tartóssága, információmegosztási hajlandóság stb.) ellentmondásos viszonyát mutatják be.
... Criteria regarding the look, color, or size of the product, also referred to as 'cosmetic standards', have been controversial as fruit and vegetables that do not meet strict criteria are generally rejected by the retailer (Fulponi 2006). Retailers, however, argue that consumers demand near-perfect produce-and that cosmetic-based quality assurance standards respond to this consumer demand (Smith et al. 2010). ...
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By examining corporate social responsibility (CSR) and power within the context of the food supply chain, this paper illustrates how food retailers claim to address food waste while simultaneously setting standards that result in the large-scale rejection of edible food on cosmetic grounds. Specifically, this paper considers the powerful role of food retailers and how they may be considered to be legitimately engaging in socially responsible behaviors to lower food waste, yet implement practices that ultimately contribute to higher levels of food waste elsewhere in the supply chain. Through interviews with key actors in the Australian fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain, we highlight the existence of a legitimacy gap in corporate social responsibility whereby undesirable behaviors are pushed elsewhere in the supply chain. It is argued that the structural power held by Australia’s retail duopoly means that supermarkets are able to claim virtuous and responsible behaviors, despite counter claims from within the fresh food industry that the food supermarkets’ private quality standards mean that fresh food is wasted. We argue that the supermarkets claim CSR kudos for reducing food waste at the expense of other supply chain actors who bear both the economic cost and the moral burden of waste, and that this is a consequence of supermarkets’ remarkable market power in Australia.
... The underlying motive of the proliferation of standards was discerned to have both an assurance cum compliance objective to state agents and secondly, and more importantly is the motive of competitive advantage (Konefal, Mascarenhas, & Hatanaka, 2005;Ouma, 2010). This trend is what is currently categorised as the new food regime that is emerging out of a combination of the concerns of consumers, increased supermarket power, and new forms of regulation (Smith, Lawrence, & Richards, 2010). ...
Article
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The domain of governance has largely been extolled by Nations, States or governmental and intergovernmental actors especially in upholding Nations' sovereignty and values. While this still holds, governance complexity has been reinforced by establishment of global value chains such as in food and agriculture commodities increasingly being influenced and controlled by non-state actors in different parts of the world by both corporate and retail actors through private governance mechanisms. These mechanisms often fall short of universal standards and the resultant effect is ramified through proliferation of standards that result to state of governance that is constantly being redefined as 'codes of colours'. This paper thus seeks for an alternate dimension based on Foucault's governmentality theory. The quest for this overarching theory is based on its mediatory role that regulates the excesses of private interests in regulations while not prioritizing any state's sovereignty but views governance inclusively to both the State and non-state actors; this view promotes the broader understating of global value chains in the global economy of the 21st century. The paper's methodology is based on literature review pertinent to governance theory, value chain governance, governmentality as its key variables in light of the agrifood sector. It applies the value chain discourse and governmentatity in light of the Kenya's Horticultural export and strategic positioning to the EU market. This paper's novelty in light of the discourse and building on the body of knowledge and for the plausible ways and means to re-articulate value chain governance in the global economy while creating a viable alternative between the States, and Non-State actors for the benefit of both the upstream agents and downstream customers.
... In the second and third phases major retailers play a key role in food governance in the UK. Burch and Lawrence (2005) have analyzed the shifting distribution of power in the global agri-food supply chain: in the first food regime (from 1870 onwards) nation states and farmers were the main drivers, in the second food regime (from 1950) processing companies were the main drivers and in the third food regime (emerging from 2000) retailers are the main drivers (see also Smith et al. 2010). In the current food regime the power in agri-food supply chains has shifted away from manufacturers of branded food products to the global Henson (2008) observes that systems of public and private food regulation differ across countries and supply chains. ...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the increased role of corporate retailers in global food safety regulation and its consequences for food producers. Retail-driven private food safety regulation started in the early 1990s and has become increasingly important in global food regulation. Major European retailers took the lead in the establishment of private food safety standards with third party certification. These retailers require their suppliers throughout the world to participate in this system of private food governance. The first of these standards were developed by national retailers associations. The British Retail Consortium was a front runner here. Later the food standards crossed borders and were adopted by retailers and producers in other countries.
... The hour-glass shape refers to the highly concentrated 'middle' that connects farms with consumers (Hendrickson et al., 2001). Wherever there is market concentration there is an increased risk of market distortion in the form of buyer and/or seller power, which can have a deleterious effect on food access and food security more generally (see Burch and Lawrence, 2007;Stringer and Le Heron, 2008;Smith et al., 2010). Agri-food market concentration is becoming increasingly pronounced, particularly among high-income countries. ...
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The goals of this article are multiple: to challenge conventional under-standings of food security; to show that economic growth per se cannot be relied upon to adequately feed the world; to convince critics of economic growth to pay closer attention to issues related to food in their assessments of 'development'; and to up-end established beliefs around the so-called Global North–South di-vide while confronting the belief that the latter must follow in the food-prints of the former. The author introduces the Food and Human Security Index (FHSI) with these ends in mind. A FHSI score is calculated for 126 countries by looking at indicators of objective and subjective well-being, nutrition, ecological sustain-ability, food dependency, and food-system market concentration. The ranking of scores has some counter-intuitive placements, which ought to be reflected upon as new lines are drawn around food security in the twenty-first century.
... Kurian, 2005). With a growing demand for 'green goods' (Smith et al., 2010) businesses and organizations of all kinds are expected to become increasingly conscious of the environment -part of what Friedmann (2005) has described in agribusiness as the 'corporate environmental food regime', in which emergent and expanding ecological concerns shape the world food system. This demands vigilance of company actions and claims, asking whether the world's agribusiness multinationals reflect shared values and true social responsibility or if in reality they are greenwashing their image as a public relations (PR) or spin tactic to gain trust and improve their reputations and bottom line Miller, 2007a, 2007b). ...
... Over the past few decades there have also been gradual yet substantial changes in the agri-food supply chain, which can be characterised as follows: increasing concentration, retailer dominance and globalisation; increasing pressures for the provision of traceability information; increasing social and environmental concerns and regulations; increasing organic products and emerging alternative agri-food networks (AAFNs) (AFGC 2011;Andrée et al. 2010;Burch & Lawrence 2005;Busch & Bain 2004;Lu & Swatman 2009;OECD 2006;Richards et al. 2011;Smith et al. 2010;Spencer & Kneebone 2012;Van Der Meer 2006). These transformations have created unprecedented opportunities for the large players at the retailer end of agri-food supply chains, while simultaneously creating significant problems and challenges for the microand small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which comprise the farmers and other businesses at the production end of agri-food supply chains. ...
... Despite their general similarities, there are also significant differences between agri-food production systems and other manufacturing production systems (Jang & Klein 2011; Sporleder & Boland 2011) due to the unique attributes of food production, including seasonality of production, perishability; and price fluctuations (Matopoulos et al. 2005; Sporleder & Boland 2011). Over the past few decades there have also been gradual yet substantial changes in the agri-food supply chain, which can be characterised as follows: increasing concentration, retailer dominance and globalisation; increasing pressures for the provision of traceability information; increasing social and environmental concerns and regulations; increasing organic products and emerging alternative agri-food networks (AAFNs) (AFGC 2011; Andrée et al. 2010; Burch & Lawrence 2005; Busch & Bain 2004; Lu & Swatman 2009; OECD 2006; Richards et al. 2011; Smith et al. 2010; Spencer & Kneebone 2012; Van Der Meer 2006). These transformations have created unprecedented opportunities for the large players at the retailer end of agri-food supply chains, while simultaneously creating significant problems and challenges for the microand small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which comprise the farmers and other businesses at the production end of agri-food supply chains. ...
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Food security – the ready access to adequate quantities of safe, nutritious food – is a major concern of governments and industry around the world and has led to an increasing focus on the agri-food supply chain. Yet despite sophisticated (often global) connections between retailers and processors, little attention has been paid to linking primary producers into these supply chains, although they are under considerable pressure from a combination of factors including: global markets, highly concentrated market power and increasing government regulation. In this paper we report the first stage of a research project investigating the possible use of Web 2.0 by primary producers to reduce costs and enhance their marketing opportunities, concentrating on farmers in the Australian State of Tasmania. The initial stage of the project was a series of interviews with experts in the four sectors selected (dairy, seafood, vegetables and livestock) to understand how ICT is currently used in these sectors and to what extent the possibilities offered by Web 2.0 had already been realised. KEYWORDS Agri-food supply chain management, ICT, Web 2.0
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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This chapter describes the development of supermarkets in Europe, the way they have reshaped the governance of agri-food industries, and the consequences for other actors in agri-food chains. The focus is on changing power relationships within European agri-food supply chains, in terms of the developments in supply chain partnerships, regulatory responses, and the rise of protest among producers and members of civil society.
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In critically re-examining the concept of food regime this article argues for an alternative formulation thatposits the concept on the foundation of the theory of value, rather than the developmentalist framework of the regulation theory within which it was originally posed. This is possible because while the insights of food regime analysis were rooted in a world historical perspective on global value relations, its presentation always subordinated the latter to the more abstract stage theory of the regulation school. Disentangled from regulationism, the concept of food regime is central for a labour-oriented perspective on imperialism as a relation of production embedded in global value relations. This is part of a broader methodological critique that locates the problematic of development (and consumption, in the postdevelopmentalist era) within the discourses of bourgeois modernity (and postmodernity) and seeks to differentiate these from the problematic of labour and labour emancipation. The article addresses the problem of a conflation of theory and history in connection with a developmentalist/positivist reading of Marx, and suggests 'global value relations', 'global working day', 'global worker', as world historically informed concepts that capture the 'unity of the diverse'. Global value relations include the politics of state relations, the world market, colonization and imperialism, and the (often geographically segregated) labour regimes of production of relative and absolute surplus value. The latter is posed as a contemporary relation of neo-liberal capitalism involving (postmodern) over-consumption on the one hand and (still modern) forced under-consumption on the other hand. 'World hunger amidst global plenty' is an expression of these relations.
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This paper examines the role of certification in alternative agri-food networks (AAFNs), which are in the process of building markets for their produce outside conventional supply chains. Drawing upon recent writing on ‘embeddedness’, we argue that certification provides an important focus for exploring the relationship and tensions between horizontal and vertical dimensions of embedding processes, and thereby understanding the complexities of agri-environmental governance. Through a case study of a group of beef farmers in south-eastern Australia, we investigate how one type of process-based certification—Environmental Management Systems (EMSs)—was used as the basis for constructing an AAFN and selling a premium environmentally certified product. The case study shows that environmental certification had mixed results for this AAFN. For instance, while it represented a useful means of building consumer trust, considerable time and effort was required by producers to target and build a market for the certified product. Producers initially had little to gain financially from a third-party-certified EMS. However, despite the current lack of broad consumer demand for non-organic environmentally certified products, the farmers we interviewed did not reject the EMS process entirely—they used it to realise a range of non-monetary personal and community benefits. We conclude that certification can be a useful strategy for those AAFNs in the process of expanding beyond direct marketing. Nevertheless, the lack of consumer understanding and demand means that certification may be adapted and combined with other producer strategies to meet personal and societal expectations regarding land stewardship.
Book
Adopting a 'global value chain' approach, Value Chain Struggles investigates the impact of new trading arrangements in the coffee and tea sectors on the lives and in the communities of growers in South India. Offers a timely analysis of the social hardships of tea and coffee producers. Takes the reader into the lives of growers in Southern India who are struggling with issues of value chain restructuring. Reveals the ways that the restructuring triggers a series of political and economic struggles across a range of economic, social, and environmental arenas. Puts into perspective claims about the impacts of recent changes to global trading relations on rural producers in developing countries.
Article
Developments favouring the liberalisation and globalisation of economic exchange and increasingly rigid constraints on domestic fiscal policy have provided support for neo‐ liberal policy ideas. Neolibcralism challenges the logic of embedded liberalism that underscored trade multilateralism in the post‐second world war period, and the exclusion of sectors like agriculture from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Focusing on agricultural policy, the article examines the pace and extent to which neo‐liberal ideas have been able to gain hold and displace non‐liberal domestic policies in Australia and Canada. The article shows that neo‐liberal ideas have been more easily translated into domestic policy change in Australia than in Canada. A significant part of the explanation for this cross‐national difference is found in the differing domestic political‐institutional arrangements, including federalism, bureaucratic arrangements, the presence or absence of a neo‐liberal epistemic community, and trie structure of interest intermediation systems. These factors, in turn, have their impact on policy change through their effects on the structures of agricultural policy networks and policy communities.
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After over a decade of leading research work which has examined the political economy and globalization of the ‘industrial’ agro-food system it is clear that there are now important new challenges associated with the incorporation of nature, consumption and alternative food networks. Taking David Goodman's recent paper (Sociologia Ruralis 1999, no. 1) as a starting point, this discussion not cautions against a premature and over-generalized rejection of political economy on the basis of concepts based upon actor-network theory. Questions of food governance expose the asymmetry in power relations in food networks, whether conventional or alternative. Moreover, while accepting the need to examine the ‘hybridity’ of nature-society relations, this needs to be done in ways which expose the degree of interconnection through the development of micro-analytical research and the development of ‘middle-level’ concepts.
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The recent development of new supermarket forms in Australia (Woolworths Metro and Coles Express) provides important insights into the changing geographical forms of grocery retailing and consumption in Australia. Using a multi-layered approach designed to integrate three overlapping geographical processes relevant to this issue: urban socio-economic restructuring, shifting spatial arenas of consumption and the corporate geographies of major retailers, the paper identifies the ways that these developments decentre traditionally dominant supermarket discourses. These new supermarket forms are important because they provide a vehicle for the nation’s two pre-eminent supermarket chains to extend their retail reach, and effect a blurring of taken-for-granted retail categories. Although these developments are new and tentative, they presage wider changes in the emerging geographical structures of Australian grocery retailing, and the linkages between urban spaces and modes of consumption.
Article
Abstract  The last decade has witnessed a dramatic rise in global trade in food and agricultural products. While much analysis has focused on the role of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in this process, we argue that other forms of regulation are of far greater consequence. In this paper, we examine changes in the agrifood system made possible by the WTO and we assess the rise of global private standards. We argue that the new global rules, regulations, and institutions implemented by the WTO have facilitated the ability of the private agrifood sector to consolidate and expand internationally. Of particular importance is the growing influence of food retailers as they rapidly become more global and oligopolistic. The article concludes that today it is the private sector, and retailers in particular, together with private standards that are at the center of the transformation of the global agrifood system.
Article
Three studies were conducted in Australia and New Zealand to examine consumers’ ratings of food and health concerns, the influence of sociodemographic factors on them, and the interrelationships between perceived concerns. Similar results were found in both countries. Principal-components analyses yielded several factors that suggested consumers in both countries perceived food and health issues along several key dimensions. These were related to concerns about food safety, food system issues, health, the environment and animal and human welfare. Generally, women expressed more concern than did men about most issues, while young people and highly educated people expressed least concern. These differences suggest that familiarity, perceived control and personal resources may have some influence on expressed concerns. However, other psychological influences remain to be identified since only small amounts of variance in the key dimensions were explained by the demographic variables. Comparisons of the rankings of the issues in the two New Zealand studies, administered 2 years apart, showed that they were very similar (ρ = 0.91, P < 0.0001) despite the use of different response scale wording. This supports the view that the population’s evaluation of food issues may be enduring and suggests they are relatively independent of differences in elicitation questions.
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Recent restructuring of the Australian dairy and wheat sectors can inform current theoretical debates on the significance of agri-food globalization. A key issue in recent debates is whether current processes lead toward a so-called “third food regime,” wherein strategies for profit capture are built around internationally coordinated flows of production, commodities, and money capital. The study outlined here suggests that there may be ongoing roles for local, farmer-owned marketing cooperatives within current globalization processes. An agenda is presented for further research into agri-food restructuring and globalization.
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The ‘new rural sociology’ arguably represented the most significant watershed in the development of rural sociology during the 1970s and 1980s. I argue, however, that the new rural sociology, especially its dominant traditions of Chayanovian and neo-Leninist Marxism, has now been almost entirely superseded as a theoretical position in agrarian political economy by the international food regimes, commodity chains/systems analysis, regulationist, and actor-network traditions. In addition, Wageningen School research on ‘farming styles’ and the ‘cultural-turn’ within rural sociology and rural studies have arisen, in part, as challenges to the more structuralist styles of reasoning within agrarian political economy. Parallel trends in the sociology of development are also discussed. The paper concludes with an appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of these new late twentieth century traditions in agrarian political economy, particularly in comparison with the new rural sociology.
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This article proposes a number of arguments about the contemporary food system. Using the UK as a case study, it argues that the food system is marked by tensions and conflicts. The paper explores different strands of public policy as applied to the food system over the last two centuries. It differentiates between various uses of the term globalization and proposes that the real features and dynamics of the new world food order are complex and neither as benign nor as homogeneous as some of its proponents allow. Opposition to the new era of globalization is emerging in the food system. This is already having some impact, questioning not just the products of the food system but the nature of its production and distribution.
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In this paper I want to consider whether actor-network theory [ANT] gives rise to a new kind of geography, or, perhaps more specifically, a new kind of geographical analysis. The paper therefore seeks to identify the main types of spaces implicated in the typical network configurations found in actor-network studies. Following a review of the ANT literature I conclude that two main spatial types can be discerned, linked to the degrees of remote control and autonomy found in networks. I characterise these two types as ‘spaces of prescription’ and ‘spaces of negotiation’. I go on to elaborate what a geography of prescription and negotiation might imply both for spatial analysis and actor-network theory. This paper is therefore one attempt to think through some of the implications that ANT holds for the study of space.
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Growing consumer concern for health and environment issues has resulted in increased attention towards the purchase and consumption of organic food. This has driven an increase in organic research, especially as marketers seek to understand the motivations behind consumer purchases of organic goods. This study explored the effects of health consciousness, environmental concern, organic knowledge, availability, quality, price consciousness, subjective norms, risk aversion, perceived control and familiarity on organic attitudes, organic purchase intentions and organic purchase behaviour. These variables formed the antecedents of the causal model which utilised Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action as the framework of analysis. Results showed strong support for the relationship between organic knowledge, subjective norms and environmental concern on organic attitudes. While health consciousness, quality, subjective norms and familiarity were found to influence purchase intentions, familiarity was the only variable found to exhibit a significant relationship with organic purchase behaviour. This paper will discuss the implications of these results for marketers. It will also consider the limitations of the study and areas for future research.
Article
The paper examines the main economic and institutional incentives which have driven major OECD food retailers in their use of private voluntary standards and discusses their growing role in shaping the agri-food system. It is based on interviews with quality and safety directors of major OECD retailers and a brief survey of retailers’ actual buyer practices. Though not all retailers are included, these firms account for over 70% of retail food sales in OECD countries. We find that the growing voice of civil society, changing legal and institutional frameworks, increased market concentration and buying power as well as their integration with financial markets has provided the setting for development of private standards. While food safety and quality standards are seen as key to maintaining and improving reputation as well as against legal liabilities, additional standards such as labour, environmental and animal welfare are also gaining ground as strategies for customer loyalty and market shares. The grass-roots retailer move in the harmonization of food safety standards is seen as an initial step towards a global approach to managing the food system, with harmonization of other standards likely in the future. Given their buyer power, these developments can be viewed as a way of governing the food system and will be important for both OECD and non-OECD food and agricultural sector evolution in the coming years.
Article
The literature on food regimes gives insufficient attention to the national and regional variability in the experience of food regimes. Two analytical frameworks are integrated for this purpose in this paper. Recent debates on the nature of family farming as a form of production and its relationships to the capitalist economy and further development of the concept of ‘real’ regulation enable us better to understand past food regimes and the processes of uneven development in western economies. Social and political movements in the countryside, often supported by legislation, are suggested as neglected elements in understanding the experience of individual nations within historical and emerging global food systems. By their association in communities, in cooperatives, and in more politically-oriented organizations, farmers are able to influence the form of agro-commodity chains and legislation governing the rural sector, key factors which influence the variability of the experience of food regimes. Our examples are France and the settler economy of New Zealand.
Article
Food regime theory focuses upon the dynamics, and agents, of change in capitalist food and farming systems. Its exponents have been able to identify relatively stable periods of capital accumulation in the agri-food industries, along with the periods of transition. Recently, scholars have argued that—following a first food regime based upon colonial trade in bulk commodities like wheat and sugar, and a second food regime typified by industrial agriculture and manufactured foods—there is an emerging third food regime. This new regime is one that is lead by global corporations that are profiting from the re-organisation of agri-food chains. The delivery of ‘fresh/healthy’ foods is one manifestation; another is the sale, by supermarkets, of ready-meals and other own-brand products. This paper argues that behind the movement to a putative Third Food Regime are changes to the financial system. ‘Financialisation’—the increased influence of finance capital on the agri-food system—not only provides new opportunities for profit-making by hedge funds and private equity consortia, but also creates a situation in which agrifood companies, including food manufacturers, international commodity traders and supermarkets, may benefit. Supermarkets for example, are moving into banking, and are altering their role as they move from being retailers of products, into the provision of capital. Food regime theory needs to consider what lies ‘behind’ the transformation of food and fibre production, to examine not only the role of finance capital in re-shaping relations up and down the agri-food supply chain, but also investigating the tendency for agri-food capitals to seek profits from financial transactions.
Article
New Zealand and Australian agri-food industries are being restructured both as a consequence of the extension of neoliberal policy settings and as a result of the increasing influence of the global supermarket sector. In the EU, supermarkets have sought to standardise and harmonise compliance, with their influence being felt well beyond European boundaries. EurepGAP (a European standard for 'Good Agricultural Practices') is an example of an emerging 'audit culture' where strict adherence to set rules of operation emerges as the basis for accreditation of goods and services. It represents the trend towards private sector standardization and assurance schemes, and provides an example of the growing importance of the supermarket sector in sanctioning the on-ground activities that occur in the production and processing of farm-derived outputs. This chapter highlights the influence of EurepGAP protocols in the reorganisation of the agri-food industries of New Zealand and Australia. It argues that - for industries such as vegetable and fruit production, where Europe is the final destination - compliance with EurepGAP standards has largely become essential. In this sense, EurepGAP has emerged as the standard among producers who wish to export their products. The chapter concludes with an assessment of EurepGAP as a form of global agri-food governance that demonstrates a strong relationship between new audit cultures and neoliberal forms of trade regulation. In both Australia and New Zealand, some production sectors have rapidly adopted EurepGAP - despite extra costs, reduced choices over crop management and a lingering sense of resentment at the internal imposition of yet another production audit - primarily as a solution to the politics of risk in the context of high levels of exposure to market requirements under neoliberalism. The implications of this for Antipodean farming are considered in detail.
Article
Globalizing tendencies within capitalism are leading to important alterations in the structure of agricultural production and the ways food companies are involving themselves in processing and marketing. Increasingly, finance capital and transnational agribusiness have sought ways to influence, and in some cases redirect, farming activities in Australia. The penetration of farming structures by corporate capital has been hastened by state deregulation. Rather than providing detailed empirical evidence, this paper presents a broad synthesis of recent Australian research with the aim of informing readers otherwise unaware of events in the Antipodes of the forms and impacts of agri-food change in Australia.
Report of the ACCC Inquiry into the Competitiveness of Retail Prices for Standard Groceries. canberra: commonwealth of australia
ACCC (AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION) (2008) Report of the ACCC Inquiry into the Competitiveness of Retail Prices for Standard Groceries. canberra: commonwealth of australia.
reshaping the agri-food system: the role of standards, standard makers and third-party certifiers
  • C Bain
  • B J Deaton
  • L Busch
BAIN, C., DEATON, B.J. and BUSCH, L. (2005) reshaping the agri-food system: the role of standards, standard makers and third-party certifiers, in: V. HIGGINS and G. LAWRENCE (eds) Agricultural Governance: Globalization and the New Politics of Regulation, London: routledge, pp. 71-83.