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Breaking new ground in food regime theory: corporate environmentalism, ecological feedbacks and the ‘food from somewhere’ regime?

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  • Hugh Campbell

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Abstract

Early food regimes literature tended to concentrate on the global scale analysis of implicitly negative trends in global food relations. In recent years, early food regimes authors like Harriet Friedmann and Philip McMichael have begun to consider the sites of resistance, difference and opportunity that have been emerging around, and into contestation with, new food regime relations. This paper examines the emerging global-scale governance mechanism of environmental food auditing—particularly those being promoted by supermarkets and other large food retailers—as an important new dynamic in our understanding of the politics and potentials of food regimes. Commencing with an examination of Friedmann’s corporate environmental food regime, two key dynamics are identified as being pivotal in the rise and decline of global-scale regimes: securing social legitimacy for food relations and the importance of ecological dynamics in global food relations. By extending McMichael’s notion of ‘Food from Nowhere’ versus ‘Food from Somewhere’, the paper interrogates the emergence of a cluster of relations that comprise ‘Food from Somewhere’ and examines whether this cluster of relations has the potential to change some of the constituent ecological dynamics of food regimes. These ecological dynamics have historically been problematic, amply demonstrating Marx’s metabolic rift as the early food regimes solidified relationships between ‘ecologies at a distance’. By using socio-ecological resilience theory, ‘Food from Somewhere’ is characterized as having denser ecological feedbacks and a more complex information flow in comparison to the invisibility and distanciation characterizing earlier regimes as well as contemporary ‘Food from Nowhere’. The conclusion of this article is that while ‘Food from Somewhere’ does provide one site of opportunity for changing some key food relations and ecologies, the social legitimacy of this new form of food relations does rely on the ongoing existence of the opposite, more regressive, pole of world food relations. The key question for resolving this tension appears to be whether new food relations can open up spaces for future, more ecologically connected, global-scale food relations. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Suggested Citation

  • Hugh Campbell, 2009. "Breaking new ground in food regime theory: corporate environmentalism, ecological feedbacks and the ‘food from somewhere’ regime?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 26(4), pages 309-319, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:26:y:2009:i:4:p:309-319
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-009-9215-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sundkvist, Asa & Milestad, Rebecka & Jansson, AnnMari, 2005. "On the importance of tightening feedback loops for sustainable development of food systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 224-239, April.
    2. Julie Guthman, 2000. "Raising organic: An agro-ecological assessment of grower practices in California," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(3), pages 257-266, September.
    3. Philip McMichael, 2000. "The power of food," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(1), pages 21-33, March.
    4. Philip McMichael, 2002. "La restructuration globale des systèmes agro-alimentaires," Mondes en développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 117(1), pages 45-53.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ríos-Núñez, Sandra M. & Coq-Huelva, Daniel & García-Trujillo, Roberto, 2013. "The Spanish livestock model: A coevolutionary analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 342-350.
    2. Francesca Galli & Fabio Bartolini & Gianluca Brunori, 2016. "Handling Diversity of Visions and Priorities in Food Chain Sustainability Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-21, March.
    3. Kuhmonen, Tuomas, 2017. "Exposing the attractors of evolving complex adaptive systems by utilising futures images: Milestones of the food sustainability journey," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 214-225.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:305:d:66573 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. John Reid & Matthew Rout, 2016. "Getting to know your food: the insights of indigenous thinking in food provenance," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(2), pages 427-438, June.
    6. Federica Monaco & Ingo Zasada & Dirk Wascher & Matjaž Glavan & Marina Pintar & Ulrich Schmutz & Chiara Mazzocchi & Stefano Corsi & Guido Sali, 2017. "Food Production and Consumption: City Regions between Localism, Agricultural Land Displacement, and Economic Competitiveness," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-20, January.
    7. Andrea Luvisi & Yiannis G. Ampatzidis & Luigi De Bellis, 2016. "Plant Pathology and Information Technology: Opportunity for Management of Disease Outbreak and Applications in Regulation Frameworks," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-12, August.
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:4:p:1142-:d:140420 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. C Lamine & Gilles Maréchal & M Darolt, 2017. "Ecological transitions within agri-food systems: a Franco-Brazilian comparison," Working Papers halshs-01579748, HAL.
    10. Claire Lamine & Gilles Maréchal & Moacir Darolt, 2017. "Ecological transitions within agri-food systems: a Franco-Brazilian comparison," Post-Print halshs-01579748, HAL.
    11. Gianluca Brunori & Francesca Galli & Dominique Barjolle & Rudolf van Broekhuizen & Luca Colombo & Mario Giampietro & James Kirwan & Tim Lang & Erik Mathijs & Damian Maye & Kees de Roest & Carin Rougoo, 2016. "Are Local Food Chains More Sustainable than Global Food Chains? Considerations for Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(5), pages 1-27, May.
    12. Jessica Clendenning & Wolfram H. Dressler & Carol Richards, 2016. "Food justice or food sovereignty? Understanding the rise of urban food movements in the USA," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(1), pages 165-177, March.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1920-:d:116163 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Jennifer Blesh & Steven Wolf, 2014. "Transitions to agroecological farming systems in the Mississippi River Basin: toward an integrated socioecological analysis," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 31(4), pages 621-635, December.
    15. Markus Schermer, 2015. "From “Food from Nowhere” to “Food from Here:” changing producer–consumer relations in Austria," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(1), pages 121-132, March.
    16. Park, Yoosun & Quinn, James & Florez, Karen & Jacobson, Judith & Neckerman, Kathryn & Rundle, Andrew, 2011. "Hispanic immigrant women's perspective on healthy foods and the New York City retail food environment: A mixed-method study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 13-21, July.
    17. Amy Quark, 2015. "Agricultural commodity branding in the rise and decline of the US food regime: from product to place-based branding in the global cotton trade, 1955–2012," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 32(4), pages 777-793, December.
    18. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:5:p:449:d:69582 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Philippe Fleury & Larry Lev & Hélène Brives & Carole Chazoule & Mathieu Désolé, 2016. "Developing Mid-Tier Supply Chains (France) and Values-Based Food Supply Chains (USA): A Comparison of Motivations, Achievements, Barriers and Limitations," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-13, August.

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