This volume examines how far agribusiness corporations are responding to the opportunities and pressures resulting from emerging environmental awareness. In particular, in what ways are they changing their R & D and business practices in order to develop new environmentally oriented products, services and methods of production? And what can they change of their own volition, and where is external direction a necessary condition of environmentally friendly innovation? These questions are explored through investigations of particular biotech and agribusiness companies -- including Monsanto, Ciba Geigy, Dole, and Chiquita -- and their behavior in situations as diverse as California, Europe, Australia, Brazil, and Central America.
The volume explores how some have responded to environmental pressures by exploiting new consumer-created markets; some changed their production practices in a sustainable way; while others have complied with (or resisted) state environmental regulation, notably labelling systems and certification. Each study explores how institutional, cultural, economic, political and technological contexts shape the strategies of big business. Topics include 'green bananas', genetically modified tomatoes and soy, the new markets in organic produce, health and pesticides, and access to justice.
The book explains why some corporations are successful in introducing environmentally friendly innovations, and others are not. The key to understanding contrasting outcomes is examining the interaction between internal corporate environments where profit and efficiency considerations predominate, and external environments where consumer preferences, NGO pressures and government regulation are important. The book also explores possible new roles for the public sector. The result is a sophisticated and critical analysis of business practices and regulatory systems in the agro-food sector.
Kees Jansen is Lecturer in the Technology and Agrarian Development Group, Wageningen University, Netherlands. Sietze Vellema is Scientific Researcher in Technology Management and Policy in the Institute for Agro-Technical Research at Wageningen University and Research Centre.
1. Agribusiness and Environmentalism: The Politics of Technology Innovation and Regulation - Kees Jansen and Sietze Vellema Part I: Agribusiness responses to environmentalism in the market 2. Reconciling Shareholders, Stakeholders, and Managers: Experiencing the Ciba-Geigy Vision for Sustainable Development - William Vorley 3. Monsanto Facing Uncertain Futures: Immobile Artefacts, Financial Constraints and Public Acceptance in Technological Change - Sietze Vellema 4. The Appearance and Disappearance of GM Tomato: Innovation Strategy, Market Formation and the Shaping of Demand - Mark Harvey 5. Contrasting Paths of Corporate Greening in Antipodean Agriculture: Organics and Green Production - Kristen Lyons, David Burch, Geoffrey Lawrence, and Stewart Lockie 6. Room to Manoeuvre? (In)Organic Agribusiness in California - Julie Guthman Part II: Regulating corporate agribusiness: new roles for the public sector 7. Greening Bananas and Institutionalizing Environmentalism: Self-Regulation by Fruit Corporations - Kees Jansen 8. The DBCP Cases: Seeking Access to Justice to Make Agribusiness Accountable in the Global Economy - Erika Rosenthal 9. Business and Biotechnology: Regulation and the Politics of Influence - Dominic Glover and Peter Newell 10. Social Struggles and Regulation of Transgenic Crops in Brazil - Victor Pelaez and Wilson Schmidt 11. Private versus Public? Agenda Setting in International Agro-technologies - Paul Richards