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Extra resources for Cross-Continental Agro-Food Chains Structures, Actors and Dynamics in the Global Food System (Routledge Studies in Human Geography)

Example text

Over recent years 16 Niels Fold and Bill Pritchard Australia and the Philippines have both sought to increase two-way bilateral food trade, yet as Lockie argues, this may not necessarily constructively resolve the deep-rooted problems of food insecurity within the Philippines. This chapter, therefore, provides a powerful set of arguments that bring into question dominant arguments about the relationships between trade, economic growth and food security. This focus on the relationship between trade and hunger is developed further by Jörg Gertel in Chapter 8, which explores Egypt’s dependence on imported wheat.

Similar developments are apparent in the tomato paste sector, which has increasingly become a standardized commodity over recent years (Pritchard and Burch 2003). Although Raikes et al. (2000: 399) provide the cautionary note that care needs to be taken when applying the global commodity chain concepts to the agri-food sector (the model was developed initially to account for restructuring processes in the manufacturing sector, and cannot be translated uncritically to agriculture and food), recent international agri-food restructuring has unquestionably shifted power towards those actors (notably transnational agri-food corporations and retail chains) who can exploit the advantages of geographical mobility, and, as this occurs, chains tend increasingly to take buyer-driven shape.

Yet hunger and food insecurity is expressed in other scales as well – for example, 31 million Americans were rated as ‘food insecure’ in 1999 (Andrews et al. 2000) – and at the same time, obesity rates are rising rapidly within both developed and developing countries. The challenge of food inequality and hunger stalks debate on crosscontinental food chains. This is seen with greatest clarity in the recent conduct of WTO negotiations, which have been premised on the need to address global inequality and development.

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