Knowledge claims and the governance of agri-food innovation
AbstractIn this paper I examine how knowledge claims operating through two types of governance techniques can guide product innovations in the agri-food sector. The notion that knowledge claims have strong social and material components informs the analysis undertaken, developed through a discussion of social science approaches to the role of human groups and biophysical properties in social change. I apply this socio-technical perspective to two case studies: defining dietary fiber and reducing saturated fat. The first involves attempts to produce an international definition of dietary fiber standards in the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The second involves efforts by food manufacturers to reduce the saturated fat content of food products in line with UK government guidelines. The case studies draw upon observations, document analysis, and over forty interviews. I suggest that although knowledge claims are active constituents of both governance processes, important differences are evident and arise from the history of scientific and technical controversies, and from the scope for articulating broader questions. In particular, the different criteria for judging “success” guide how knowledge claims are implicated in the governance of product innovation. I suggest that further work is required to understand the wider implications of efforts to change the composition of foods, not only for public heath, but also in relation to food security, quality, safety, and availability in a rapidly changing context. In order to do this successfully, knowledge claims made about the material properties of food should be made objects of social science analysis. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.
Volume (Year): 29 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jane Dixon, 2009. "From the imperial to the empty calorie: how nutrition relations underpin food regime transitions," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 321-333, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.