The Changing Landscape of Food Governance

The Changing Landscape of Food Governance

Public and Private Encounters

Edited by Tetty Havinga, Frans van Waarden and Donal Casey

As markets become more globalized, they have also become governed by an increasingly complex array of public and private regulation. This volume investigates the changing landscape of food governance. In so doing, the contributions to his volume provide insights into broader analytical issues that have concerned regulatory governance scholars. These include the legitimacy and effectiveness of public and private regulation, the interaction of networks of regulation, regulatory responses to crisis and the distribution of power in regulatory arrangements.

Chapter 13: The meta-governance of co-regulation: Safeguarding the quality of Dutch eggs

Haiko van der Voort

Subjects: law - academic, regulation and governance, politics and public policy, regulation and governance


In times of budget cuts and ‘regulatory governance’ philosophies, public regulators keep a keen eye on private systems, in an attempt to safeguard the quality and safety of products. This may explain the popularity of co-regulation. The concept encompasses a variety of arrangements in which regulations are specified, administered and enforced by a combination of the state and the regulated organizations (Bartle and Vass 2005; Garcia Martinez et al. 2007; 2013). Relying on these private systems would probably save valuable inspection capacity and maintain quality and safety at an acceptable level. Co-regulation also requires many coordination efforts between government, industry and third parties. Broadly defined, they serve common values (such as safety, quality, sustainability), but with different purposes and methods. The literature on (self-) regulation describes tensions between public regulators (‘government’) on the one hand and private regulatees (‘self-regulating industry’) on the other. Much of this literature looks at coordination from a public perspective. It seems to aim at making self-regulation suitable for government purposes.

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