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Certification Regimes in the Global Agro-Food System and the Transformation of the Nature-Society Relationship

Ecological Modernization or Modernization of Ecology?

Md Saidul Islam

problems ( Barbosa 2009 ; Islam 2019 ). Adoption of environmental certification regimes (discussed later) in the global agro-food system, particularly aquaculture, is an example of ecological modernization. While certification regimes offer opportunities

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Mega-Plantations in Southeast Asia

Landscapes of Displacement

Miles Kenney-Lazar and Noboru Ishikawa

-scale plantation expansion, which set the stage for some forms of future plantation expansion. For example, the Myanmar government planned for the country to be a major exporter of agro-industrial crops such as oil palm. Contemporary Displacements of

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Safe milk and risky quinoa

The lottery and precarity of farming in Peru

Astrid B. Stensrud

. The aim was to create employment and economic growth based on export-oriented agro-industrial production and to foster regional development. The first group of settlers ( colonos ), who started working the land in 1983, consisted of 592 persons. They

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Cuisines traditionnelles d'Algérie

l'art d'accommoder l'histoire et la géographie

Rachid Sidi Boumedine

responsable d'importantes variations climatiques du Nord au Sud. Cela explique en partie la grande diversité des productions agro-pastorales, bases de l'alimentation humaine. De plus, dans une même région, les vallées et villes ont été plus sensibles que les

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Le loup dans l’Iran ancien

Entre mythe, réalité et exégèse zoroastrienne

Samra Azarnouche


How did ancient Iranian religion represent the wolf? Between the mythological data, the realities of the agro-pastoral world, and the symbolism of exegetical tradition, Late Antique Zoroastrianism considered the wolf as primarily a species to kill. In reality, much more than the Canis lupus hides behind the word ‘wolf’ (Middle Persian gurg), including most nocturnal predators but also devastating illnesses, a monster whom the Savior will destroy at the end of time, and finally heretics who renounce or deform the Good Religion. However, this negative image is nuanced by the recognition of the strong ties between the she-wolf and wolf cubs, both in texts where the protective qualities of this large predator are evoked, and in iconography, namely magic seals, where one finds the image of the nourishing she-wolf, perhaps connected to perinatal magic.

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Craintes Et Espoirs Des Agriculteurs Français

François Clerc

Le bilan que les agriculteurs français peuvent présenter de leurs efforts au cours du dernier demi-siècle devrait les remplir de confiance en eux-mêmes1. Ils sont parvenus à produire en abondance. Entre 1951 et 1997, la quantité de blé livrée a été multipliée par quatre et par cinq dans un secteur moins stratégique, celui des haricots verts. Entre 1980 et 1997, le volume de la production agricole française a augmenté de 30 pour cent. L’agriculture française nourrit des consommateurs dont le nombre a augmenté de plus de 40 pour cent en cinquante ans et le déséquilibre des échanges commerciaux a changé de sens. L’agriculture et les industries alimentaires qui lui font suite ont porté la France au rang de second exportateur agro-alimentaire mondial.

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Fair Trade and Fair Trade Certification of Food and Agricultural Commodities

Promises, Pitfalls, and Possibilities

Debarati Sen and Sarasij Majumder

The global circulation of food and agricultural commodities is increasingly influenced by the ethical choices of Western consumers and activists who want to see a socially and environmentally sustainable trade regime in place. These desires have culminated in the formation of an elaborate system of rules, which govern the physical and social conditions of food production and circulation, reflected in transnational ethical regimes such as fair trade. Fair trade operates through certifying producer communities with sustainable production methods and socially just production relationships. By examining interdisciplinary academic engagements with fair trade, we argue that fair trade certification is a transnational bio-political regime; although, it holds the potential for reflecting global counterpolitics. By reviewing the literature on the emergence and history of fair trade certification, agro-food chains, case studies on certified producer communities and the certification process, this article shows that fair trade certification is a new governing mechanism to discipline farmers and producers in the Global South by drawing them into globalized market relationships. However, recent studies suggest that fair trade also leaves open the potential for creative iterations of the fair trade idea in producer communities to give voice to their situated struggles for justice. Thus, fair trade constitutes a contested moral terrain that mediates between the visions of justice harbored by producers and activists in the Global South and reflexive practices of the Western consumers. To map these critical developments around fair trade and fair trade certification, close ethnographic attention to the material and symbolic life of certification is vital.

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Mapping the Food Movement

Addressing Inequality and Neoliberalism

Teresa Marie Mares and Alison Hope Alkon

In this article, we bring together academic literature tracing contemporary social movements centered on food, unpacking the discourses of local food, community food security, food justice, and food sovereignty. This body of literature transcends national borders and draws on a rich genealogy of studies on environmental justice, the intersections of race, class, and gender, and sustainable agro-food systems. Scholars have emphasized two key issues that persist within these movements: inequalities related to race and class that shape the production, distribution, and consumption of food, and the neoliberal constraints of market-based solutions to problems in the food system. This article claims that food movements in the United States would be strengthened through reframing their work within a paradigm of food sovereignty, an approach that would emphasize the production of local alternatives, but also enable a dismantling of the policies that ensure the dominance of the corporate food regime. The article concludes by offering a critical analysis of future research directions for scholars who are committed to understanding and strengthening more democratic and sustainable food systems.

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Infringing and trespassing plants

Patented seeds at dispute in Canada's courts

Birgit Müller

Patents on objects that have agency such as seeds pose new challenges for governance, raising fundamental questions of control and responsibility. In May 2004 the Supreme Court of Canada found the farmer Percy Schmeiser guilty of infringing the Monsanto patent on genetically modified canola, because he reseeded part of his canola harvest although he knew or ought to have known that it contained seeds of GM canola plants that had blown into his field. In May 2005, a group of organic farmers tried a legal procedure to get certification as a class against two biotechnology corporations Bayer CropScience and Monsanto for polluting their fields with GM canola. At stake are questions on the type of ownership that can be claimed over plants—and whether ownership can be claimed over a plant at the same time that liability for its reproduction is denied. The two court cases I discuss allow us to more closely see how genetically modified canola plants have become objects of contention among Western Canadian farmers, how they transformed the farmers’ daily work and relations between neighbors, and how they increased farmers’ dependency on agro-biotech corporations.

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Economía política y desarrollo en la Zona Bananera (Magdalena, Colombia), 1850–1930

Adriano Franco Reyes


This article explores the relationship between a specific political economy and its developmental impacts by analyzing how the Zona Bananera in the north of the Department of Magdalena, Colombia, was configured by the emergence of an agro-exportation model between 1850 and 1930. The review of gubernatorial reports and statistical data highlights how the development deriving from this model concentrated benefits to a small landowning class, which magnified the unequal distribution of land in the area. Therefore, this article documents the negative social consequences deriving from this type of development, particularly in frontier societies like the one in Magdalena at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.


El artículo explora la relación entre una economía política particular y sus efectos en términos de desarrollo a través del análisis de la configuración de la Zona Bananera en el departamento del Magdalena, Colombia, a partir del surgimiento de una economía política que definió para este un modelo agroexportador en el periodo de 1850 a 1930. La revisión de informes de gobernadores del Magdalena, en conjunto con datos estadísticos resalta cómo el desarrollo derivado de este modelo concentró beneficios en una pequeña clase terrateniente, magnificando la distribución desigual de la tierra. Por lo tanto, este artículo documenta las consecuencias sociales negativas de este tipo de desarrollo, particularmente en sociedades de frontera, como la del Magdalena a finales del XIX principios del XX.


Cet article explore les effets d'une économie politique particulière en termes de développement, dans le nord du département du Magdalena, en Colombie, configuré à partir de l'émergence d'un modèle agricole exportateur de 1850 à 1930. L'analyse des rapports rédigés par les gouverneurs du département, ainsi que des données statistiques, montrent comment le modèle concentra des bénéfices en faveur de quelques familles de propriétaires fonciers, et accentua l'inégale répartition des terres. Ainsi, l'article met en évidence les conséquences sociales négatives de ce modèle de développement dans les sociétés de frontière, à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe siècle.