Concentration and Power in the Food System

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Concentration and Power in the Food System

Postby PhilHoward » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:31 am

I have a new book that attempts to apply Capital as Power to food systems.

Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?
Philip H. Howard
http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/concentrat ... 472581112/

From the introduction:
"This book seeks to illuminate which firms have become the most dominant, and more importantly, how they shape and reshape society in their efforts to increase their control. These dynamics have received insufficient attention from academics and even critics of the current food system. The power of dominant firms extends far beyond narrow economic boundaries, for example, providing them with the ability to damage numerous communities and ecosystems in their pursuit of higher than average profits. The social resistance provoked by these negative consequences is another area that is less visible to the majority of the population. When such resistance is evident at all, it frequently appears insignificant, failing to challenge the direction of current trends. Even very small movements, however, may influence which firms end up winners or losers or close off particular avenues for growth. These accomplishments also suggest potential limits and therefore the possibility that dominant firms may experience much greater threats to their power in the future."

I have applied information visualization techniques to represent increasing power in the global seed, global beer, and North American organic food sectors, and those graphics are included in the book. It also contains some new U.S.-focused graphics, such as maps or timelines of acquisitions made by Kroger in retailing, Sysco in distribution, and Dean Foods in dairy processing.

A preview of the first chapter is available here
http://www.amazon.com/Concentration-Pow ... 472581113/

Best regards,
Phil

Philip H. Howard, Associate Professor
Department of Community Sustainability
480 Wilson RD, Rm 316
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
http://www.msu.edu/~howardp
PhilHoward
 
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