Regoverning Markets: A Place for Small-Scale Producers in Modern Agrifood Chains?


The internationalisation of food retailing and manufacturing that has swept through the agri-food system in industrialised countries is now moving into middle- and low-income countries with large rural populations, causing significant institutional changes that affect small producer agriculture and the livelihoods of rural communities the world over.

Farmers and policy-makers are struggling to keep up with the wave of new demands being made on their supply chains by food manufacturers and retailers. In the process, new questions and challenges are arising: Can small-scale farmers organise to meet the demands of corporate giants? Should governments liberalise Foreign Direct Investment in the retail sector and expose numerous small shops to competition from multinationals? Can distribution systems be adapted to make markets work better for the poor?

This book offers a contemporary look at what happens when the modernisation of food supply chains comes face to face with the livelihoods of rural and poor people. The authors are drawn from eighteen countries participating in the 'Regoverning Markets' programme, which aims to not only improve our understanding of the way modernisation and re-structuring of food supply chains is affecting food production and distribution systems, but also identify best-practice in involving small-scale producers in supermarket supply chains, and ascertain the barriers to inclusion which need to be removed.

The book is aimed primarily at academics but will also appeal to practitioners in developing countries, civil servants, policy-makers and NGOs.


Part One The Economic and Policy Context: The internationalization of food retailing: opportunities and threats for small scale producers; The country studies. Part Two Countries with Consolidating and Expanding Supermarkets and Their Supply Chains: Central America, case studies; Ecuador, case studies; Thailand, case studies; Philippines, case studies; South Africa, case studies. Part Three Countries in Transition from State Control: Hungary, case studies; Poland, case studies; Romania, case studies; China, case studies; Vietnam, case studies. Part Four Countries with Emerging Modern Supply Chains: India, case studies; Pakistan, case studies; Bangladesh, case studies; Kenya, case studies; Uganda, case studies, Zambia, case studies. Part Five Conclusions: Restructuring of agri-food systems and prospects for small producers. Index.


Vorley, B.; Fearne, A.; Ray, D. Regoverning Markets: A Place for Small-Scale Producers in Modern Agrifood Chains? Gower Publishing, Abingdon, UK (2007) 244 pp. ISBN 0 566 08730 8 [Gower Sustainable Food Chain Series]

Regoverning Markets: A Place for Small-Scale Producers in Modern Agrifood Chains?

Published 1 January 2007