International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks
Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt
Chapter 14: Food security in the era of retail governance
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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