The Challenge of Food Security

The Challenge of Food Security

International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt

This timely study addresses the pressing issue of food security through a range of interdisciplinary contributions, providing both scholarly and policy-making perspectives. It sets the discussion on food security within the little-studied context of its international legal and regulatory framework. The expert contributors explore the key issues from a development perspective and through the lens of existing governance and policy systems with a view to articulating how these systems can be made more effective in dealing with the roots of food insecurity.

Chapter 14: Food security in the era of retail governance

Doris Fuchs, Katharina Glaab, Agni Kalfagianni and Richard Meyer-Eppler

Subjects: development studies, law and development, environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, law and development, public international law


The last decades have witnessed a major structural transformation in the governance of the global agrifood system. Governance capacities and functions in global agrifood governance have shifted, with private actors, specifically retail food corporations, becoming key players in this field. Their new role has resulted from two developments, in particular. First, retail corporations have experienced tremendous growth in size and reach, a factor which has strengthened their strategic position in the market. Second, the role of government has shifted to one of oversight rather than control against a background of globalization and the popularity of neoliberal norms. As a consequence of these developments, retail food corporations are in a position to design and implement private governance institutions. They shape production and consumption practices through the development of de facto mandatory private standards, ‘own-brand’ products, and a substantial expansion in farm-to-shelfcontrol.

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