Regoverning Markets: A Place for Small-Scale Producers in Modern Agrifood Chains?, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Regoverning Markets

A Place for Small-Scale Producers in Modern Agrifood Chains?, 1st Edition

Edited by Bill Vorley, Andrew Fearne, Derek Ray


248 pages

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Hardback: 9780566087301
pub: 2007-04-28
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The internationalisation of food retailing and manufacturing that has swept through the agri-food system in industrialised countries is now moving into middle- and low-income countries with large rural populations, causing significant institutional changes that affect small producer agriculture and the livelihoods of rural communities the world over. Farmers and policy-makers are struggling to keep up with the wave of new demands being made on their supply chains by food manufacturers and retailers. In the process, new questions and challenges are arising: Can small-scale farmers organise to meet the demands of corporate giants? Should governments liberalise Foreign Direct Investment in the retail sector and expose numerous small shops to competition from multinationals? Can distribution systems be adapted to make markets work better for the poor? This book offers a contemporary look at what happens when the modernisation of food supply chains comes face to face with the livelihoods of rural and poor people. The authors are drawn from eighteen countries participating in the 'Regoverning Markets' programme, which aims to not only improve our understanding of the way modernisation and re-structuring of food supply chains is affecting food production and distribution systems, but also identify best-practice in involving small-scale producers in supermarket supply chains, and ascertain the barriers to inclusion which need to be removed. The book is aimed primarily at academics but will also appeal to practitioners in developing countries, civil servants, policy-makers and NGOs.


The Authors make recommendations for different stakeholders for supporting smallholders to anticipate and adjust to dynamic retail changes. These include more government and donor attention to upgrading quality and services in traditional "wet" markets and building the capacity of farmer organizations to consolidate volumes of produce supplied and improve their quality, logistics and managerial expertise. The Journal of Pesticide Action Network UK. ’An important and thorough look at what happens when supermarkets meet small-scale producers in low- and middle-income countries. The editors' top recommendations for governments in countries experiencing rapid supermarket expansion are to invest in traditional markets, control supermarket power and support producer organisations.’ - Tom Macmillan, Food Ethics, The Magazine of the Food Ethics Council

About the Editors

Dr Bill Vorley is with the International Institute for Environment and Development, which has a focus on policy and market research for sustainable agriculture and rural development. He has coordinated the Regoverning Markets programme since 2003. Previously, he was with the Institute for Agriculture Trade and Policy in Minneapolis, Minnesota as director of the Environment and Agriculture Programme. Dr Andrew Fearne is Principal Research Fellow at Kent Business School (KBS), University of Kent, where he is the Director of the Centre for Supply Chain Research. He is also the founding editor of the International Journal of Supply Chain Management. Derek Ray was a senior lecturer in agricultural economics in higher education before becoming a freelance writer and editor. He has lived and worked in the UK, and abroad in Malawi and the Sudan, and on projects in countries such as Kenya, Uzbekistan, Russia and India.

About the Series

Gower Sustainable Food Chains Series

Gower Sustainable Food Chains Series
The food industry continues to attract considerable interest and attention from various stakeholders - consumers (increasingly concerned about the provenance, safety, nutritional composition and integrity of the food they buy), government (increasingly concerned about the health of the nation and the sustainability of agriculture and the food industry), academics (increasingly challenged by the juxtaposition of food poverty and food surpluses, economic and environmental sustainability, fast food and obesity, local food chains and global supply networks), practitioners (increasingly perplexed by the relentless pursuit of competitive advantage) and civil society (increasingly perplexed by the lack of strategic vision amongst policy-makers and large food corporations, more interested in returns from the ballot box and returns to shareholders than a return to a more holistic approach to sustainable competitive advantage. What makes the food industry so fascinating is the breadth and depth of the issues that it throws up - unequivocally multi-dimensional in nature and increasingly requiring a multi-functional and multi-disciplinary approach to their analysis, explanation and resolution. The series is designed to fill a gaping hole in the literature for a range of titles, from practical textbooks to research-based monographs, appealing to broad target market with a common interest in gaining a better understanding of how food chains function, why they break down and what corrective actions different stakeholders can take in pursuit of diverse objectives.

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