Retailer-driven agricultural restructuring-Australia, the UK and Norway in comparison

Richards, Carol, Bjorkhaug, Hilde, Lawrence, Geoffrey and Hickman, Emmy (2013) Retailer-driven agricultural restructuring-Australia, the UK and Norway in comparison. Agriculture and Human Values, 30 2: 235-245. doi:10.1007/s10460-012-9408-4

Author Richards, Carol
Bjorkhaug, Hilde
Lawrence, Geoffrey
Hickman, Emmy
Title Retailer-driven agricultural restructuring-Australia, the UK and Norway in comparison
Journal name Agriculture and Human Values   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0889-048X
Publication date 2013-06-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10460-012-9408-4
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 30
Issue 2
Start page 235
End page 245
Total pages 11
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract In recent decades, the governance of food safety, food quality, on-farm environmental management and animal welfare has been shifting from the realm of 'the government' to that of the private sector. Corporate entities, especially the large supermarkets, have responded to neoliberal forms of governance and the resultant 'hollowed-out' state by instituting private standards for food, backed by processes of certification and policed through systems of third party auditing. Today's food regime is one in which supermarkets impose 'private standards' along the food supply chain to ensure compliance with a range of food safety goals-often above and beyond those prescribed by government. By examining regulatory governance in Australia, Norway and the United Kingdom we highlight emerging trajectories of food governance. We argue that the imposition of the new private forms of monitoring and compliance continue the project of agricultural restructuring that began with government support for structural adjustment schemes in agriculture and that these are most evident in the UK and Australia where neoliberalism is an entrenched philosophy. However, despite Norway's identity as a social democracy, we also identify neoliberal 'creep' into the system of food governance. Small-scale producers in all three nations are finding themselves increasingly subject to governance through private, market-based mechanisms that, to varying degrees, are dominated by major supermarket chains. The result is agricultural restructuring not through the traditional avenues of elected governments, but via non-elected market operatives.
Keyword Private standards
Small-scale farmers
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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