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Food supply chain governance and public health externalities: upstream policy interventions and the UK State. (Special issue: Food and the public's health)

By D. Barling

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Abstract

Contemporary food supply chains are generating externalities with high economic and social costs, notably in public health terms through the rise in diet-related non-communicable disease. The UK State is developing policy strategies to tackle these public health problems alongside intergovernmental responses. However, the governance of food supply chains is conducted by, and across, both private and public spheres and within a multilevel framework. The realities of contemporary food governance are that private interests are key drivers of food supply chains and have institutionalized a great deal of standards-setting and quality, notably from their locations in the downstream and midstream sectors. The UK State is designing some downstream and some midstream interventions to ameliorate the public health impacts of current food consumption patterns in England. The UK State has not addressed upstream interventions towards public health diet at the primary food production and processing stages, although traditionally it has shaped agricultural policy. Within the realities of contemporary multilevel governance, the UK State must act within the contexts set by the international regimes of the Common Agricultural Policy and the World Trade Organization agreements, notably on agriculture. The potential for further upstream agricultural policy reform is considered as part of a wider policy approach to address the public health externalities issuing from contemporary food supply chains within this multilevel governance context.

Date 2007
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 20
Issue 3
Pages 285-300
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-007-9034-0
Language English
Author Address Centre for Food Policy, City University, London, EC1V 0HB, UK. d.barling@city.ac.uk
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Tags
  1. Agriculture
  2. British Isles
  3. Commonwealth of Nations
  4. Developed countries
  5. Diets
  6. Europe
  7. Food consumption
  8. Food distribution and marketing
  9. Food economics
  10. Food policy
  11. Government
  12. Great Britain
  13. Health
  14. Health economics
  15. Health policy
  16. Marketing
  17. Nutrition
  18. OECD countries
  19. Policy and Planning
  20. Public health
  21. United Kingdom