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