By David Barling, Bill Vorley, Julie Smith
The aim of the report is to identify the key public policy and related governance drivers that shape and impact upon local and global food chains and their performance across economic, environmental, heath, social and ethical dimensions. The public policies of the European Union (EU) and its governance activities, including public- private policy initiatives, and the nature of EU public policy making in relation to food chains are presented. The main policy sectors where EU food policies have emerged are mapped out and the drivers for these policy engagements identified, in turn covering the five main performance dimensions. The scope of EU food policy includes: economic competiveness and the food industry, market harmonisation of standards, international trade, development aid, agriculture and rural development, food safety and public health, animal welfare, environmental policy and sustainable development, corporate responsibility and labour and working conditions. The main forms that these policies take in terms of regulatory and governance instruments and more strategic policy goals are explained. Particular attention is paid to how EU policies are addressing the performance of food chains and the drivers for these actions. In addition, attention is given to EU policy activities seeking to promote local food chains within Europe.
The wider international settings of EU food policies and their impacts upon developing countries’ food chains are analysed. The national perspectives of developing countries are examined in relation to the ability of these countries’ producers to enter and benefit from global supply chains and to promote their own local food chains within their own national and regional markets. In particular, the actions of EU policies, its regulatory and governance instruments, and of European market activity, notably by corporations, upon these developing countries’ food chains and both their local-national and global market access are critically examined.