Towards a third food regime: behind the transformation

Burch, David and Lawrence, Geoffrey (2009) Towards a third food regime: behind the transformation. Agriculture and human values, 26 4: 267-279. doi:10.1007/s10460-009-9219-4

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Author Burch, David
Lawrence, Geoffrey
Title Towards a third food regime: behind the transformation
Journal name Agriculture and human values   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0889-048X
Publication date 2009-12
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10460-009-9219-4
Open Access Status
Volume 26
Issue 4
Start page 267
End page 279
Total pages 13
Editor Jane Dixon
Hugh Campbell
Place of publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
960705 Rural Land Policy
970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
160804 Rural Sociology
160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified
Abstract 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.
Keyword Food regimes
Agri-food theory
Fresh and healthy foods
Own brand foods
Shareholder value
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 49 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 73 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 23 Nov 2009, 15:30:44 EST