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Varieties of Green Business

Industries, Nations and Time

Geoffrey Jones

This book provides rich new empirical evidence on green business as it examines its variation between industries and nations, and over time. It demonstrates the deep historical origins of endeavors to create for-profit businesses that were more responsible and sustainable, but also how these strategies have faced constraints, trade-offs and challenges of legitimacy. Based on extensive interviews and archives from around the world, the book asks why green business succeeds more in some contexts than others, and draws lessons from failure as well as success.
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Chapter 5: Organic food and national image: The paradox of New Zealand

Geoffrey Jones and Simon Mowatt


This chapter has explored why the organic food market and organic agricultural output remained subdued in New Zealand even as it expanded elsewhere. The oligopolistic conventional retail sector invested little to develop the market, and small organics retailers struggled to scale their businesses. The large agricultural export sector marginalized the organic production sector to the premium domestic and export markets. The government failed to establish a clear, nationally accepted standard for certification. The situation is contrasted with Denmark where the dairy industry and retail food sector were also concentrated, but worked to promote organic food. The fact that policy makers and consumers showed little interest in organic food in New Zealand may be explained by the promotion of New Zealand as a clean and green country. Imagined greenness proved an extremely difficult exogenous factor for organic food entrepreneurs.

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