Influence of Capitalism on Current Food Regime
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Environmental Studies|
|✅ Wordcount: 1826 words||✅ Published: 4th Sep 2017|
The structure of Capitalism may have been existed during the first food regime and leading up to the second food regimes but implicitly refrained from exposure to the rise of nation – state system. Peasant farming and agrarian system of development might be seen as a form of capitalism in the first food regime period as cultivation and farming of land are restricted to only certain localities particularly common in the European countries. For instance, Jarosz, (2009) states that agrarian form of development was only common in Europe during the mid-nineteen centuries. Towards the end of the second food regimes, the form of capitalism structure developed through rules and regulations which governed production and consumption of foods worldwide. A discursive definition of food regimes which capitalism ideology is embedded within.
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According to Bernstein, (2015: 3), eight element of the three food regimes were analysed and identified as the international state system, the division of labour and patterns of trade, the rules and legitimacy of different food regimes, the relationship between agriculture and industries, the technical and environmental change in farming systems and procedures, the dominant form of capital and their modalities of accumulation, social force, tension and contradiction of specific food regime and transition between food regimes. Capitalism structure has emerged perceptibly towards the third regime.
This essay will outline the following two ideas as to why influence of capitalism may be a trigger to food crises experience in different parts of the world. It will begin with the discussion on the effect of the rules and regulations on world food development in relation to uneven geography, moving on to the rivalry in technology and food production particularly to safe guarding domestic markets, and then it will give a personal responses on the influence of capitalism on the current food regime and end with summary conclusion.
Effects of rules and regulations on current world food development
The current food regime periods is dominated by the international rules and regulation in relations to the international organizations such as World Trade Organization (WTO), World Food Program (WFP) and Food & Agriculture Organization. These policies are dominated by industrialized countries who have advance technologies in producing large quantity of foods. When comparing the second food regime with the current regime (third food regime), it is evident that during that period (second food regime), rules and regulations imposed are sort of more lessen, allowing for respect for free international markets and free enterprise, also allow for easy market channel on food distribution.
The governing premises during the second food regime allowed free flow of scientific and crop information, more state control system resulted in low priority for national self – reliance. According to, Bernstein (2015: 10), capitalism became more visible during the third food regime which provided ground for political dynamics and arrangement in the international state system. National and international rules and regulations on food productions and distribution emerged and social movements were formed to defend their space and place in national and international markets. The effects has rippled into the current regimes and underpinned by international capitalism power of industrialized countries such as USA and UK, followed by other countries such as Japan and other developed nations and now globally. It can be said that, this is globalization.
International regulations on food production and distribution were not adhered by certain countries due to high cost of production as fossil fuel price increases. This has put more pressure on developing countries who depend entirely on food products from these developed industrial countries. For instance, according to Jarosz, (2009), as the oil price increase, food price increases result in food crises. There are no clear rules and regulation to regulate free markets and trades so that food price may be control to avoid continues food crises.
The rivalry of technology and food production to Safe guarding domestic markets.
The ideology of competing in food production technology also restricted free flow of scientific information sharing and result in the retrenchment of the production of food. The accumulation of capitalism during the third regime and continue to increase today has prodded the trigger for more protection of domestic markets, and restriction on the flow of information on the production technology is seen as a priority for powerful countries. Jarosz (2009), pointed out that during this period, more emphasizes is put on technology to increase the application of synthetic fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides to enhance water management and plant breeding aimed at increased yields.
The accumulation of competition in the production of foods and other goods and trades in the world market between industrialized countries has seen as an ignorance to stabilise food distributions to unprivileged parts of the world, particularly the “Global South” countries. The rivalry in production technology was affected by a more recent regime embedded within the third regime, a “green” environmental regime (green revolution) ideology bulged as pressure from the climate, financial and fuel crises accumulated through social movements. Social movements were formed and underpinned by countries who are affected by climate change crises mainly the third world or developing countries that continued to push for reduction on fossil fuel consumption. Even though measures were taken to addresses food distributions through establishment of institutions such as World Food Program (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and climate change issues addressed through earth summits, food crises still remain a dilemma for developing countries.
Personal Responses on the Influence of capitalism on current food crises.
I will give my personal view on influences of capitalism on current food regimes (environmental regimes). The trend in the governance of different food regimes has shifted very rapidly as economic power base of industrialized countries accumulated due to increase population growth. During decolonization periods, the rise of state- system may have triggered farmers to hold on to their farms, a capitalism paradigm. Capitalism system started to emerge imperceptibly during the second food regime, due to free international market and free enterprise, and free flow of scientific and crop information. This scenario of free markets and information has foretold the future of food distribution and consumption of industrialized countries to be more aware of their domestic markets for local consumptions. Protection of niche market of products became a priority and allowing surplus of food products to be forced into international markets.
The ownership of the means of food production particularly, has explicitly spread worldwide and the rules and regulations governing the means of production has become a barricade for free market and trades. I see this as a counter – reserved to food distributions compared to the second food regime periods. The international and national policies on food trades are becoming more complicated as private individual and corporations competed to safe guard their space in the international market domain for profitable return on their products.
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Furthermore, looking at developing world, capitalism system has imprinted a more essence of division between the rich and the poor, in terms of food productions and consumption rate. If the state systems of developing countries do not function properly in terms of safe guarding its people from the influence of capitalism, this triggered food crises as recently experienced in Venezuela and Yemen.
In conclusion, capitalism system has change the way humans occupied space and places. Monetary ideology is dominating how people behaviour from individual to international corporations. The governance power based on strict rules and regulations developed through each food regimes has shifted the state -system of unification which knowledge, skills and free market are shaded to a more imperceptible one which are more restricted. For example, policy to set tariffs and restriction in order to protect domestic industries in powerful countries (Jarosz, 2009).
This essay has discussed two features of capitalism, namely the governance (rules and regulations) during food regimes periods and the protectionism of production technology in International Food Corporation dominated by powerful countries which leads to rivalry or competition in technology on production. It is argued that rules and regulations set by industrialized countries or international organizations in order to control food productions and prices has adversely impacted the way food is distributed and accessibility to the developing world. Food crisis continued to hit parts of the world such as the current food crisis in Venezuela and Yemen.
Protectionism of production technology by industrial countries does not allow for free flow of information limiting knowledge and skill transfers to other countries. Competition in producing goods and services has resulted in more competitive markets and increase in prices of goods. For smaller island nations or developing countries to compete in international markets with big players such as USA, UK, Japan and other industrialized countries is beyond their capacities in terms of resources.
Bernstein, H. (2015). Food Regimes and Food Regime Analysis: A Selective Survey.
Campbell, H., Evans, D., & Murcott, A. (2017). Measurability, austerity and edibility: Introducing waste into food regime theory. Journal of Rural Studies, 51, 168-177.
Friedmann, H. (1993). The political economy of food: a global crisis. New left review, (197), 29.
Friedmann, H. (2005). From colonialism to green capitalism: Social movements and emergence of food regimes. In New directions in the sociology of global development (pp. 227-264). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Holt Giménez, E., & Shattuck, A. (2011). Food crises, food regimes and food movements: rumblings of reform or tides of transformation? The Journal of peasant studies, 38(1), 109-144.
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