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Influence of Capitalism on Current Food Regime


The structure of Capitalism may have been existed during the first food regime and leading up to the next food regimes but implicitly refrained from contact with the rise of nation - state system. Peasant farming and agrarian system of development might be seen as a kind of capitalism in the first food regime period as cultivation and farming of land are limited to only certain localities particularly common in the European countries. For example, Jarosz, (2009) states that agrarian form of development was only common in Europe during the mid-nineteen centuries. Towards the finish of the next food regimes, the form of capitalism structure developed through rules and regulations which governed production and consumption of foods worldwide. A discursive definition of food regimes which capitalism ideology is embedded within.

According to Bernstein, (2015: 3), eight component of the three food regimes were analysed and recognized as the international state system, the division of labour and patterns of trade, the guidelines and legitimacy of different food regimes, the relationship between agriculture and industries, the technical and environmental change in farming systems and procedures, the dominant form of capital and their modalities of accumulation, social force, tension and contradiction of specific food regime and transition between food regimes. Capitalism structure has emerged perceptibly towards the 3rd regime.

This essay will outline the next two ideas as to the reasons influence of capitalism may be considered a trigger to food crises experience in various parts of the world. It will start with the discussion on the effect of the rules and regulations on world food development with regards to uneven geography, shifting to the rivalry in technology and food production particularly to safe guarding domestic markets, and then it will give a personal responses on the influence of capitalism on the existing food regime and end with summary conclusion.

Effects of regulations on current world food development

The current food regime periods is dominated by the international rules and regulation in relations to the international organizations such as World Trade Organization (WTO), World Food Program (WFP) and Food & Agriculture Organization. These policies are dominated by industrialized countries who have advance technologies in producing variety of foods. When comparing the second food regime with the current regime (third food regime), it is evident that throughout that period (second food regime), rules and regulations imposed are sort of more lessen, enabling respect free of charge international markets and free enterprise, also allow for easy market channel on food distribution.

The governing premises during the second food regime allowed free flow of scientific and crop information, more state control system resulted in low priority for national self - reliance. According to, Bernstein (2015: 10), capitalism became more visible through the third food regime which provided ground for political dynamics and arrangement in the international state system. National and international regulations on food productions and distribution emerged and social movements were formed to defend their space and place in national and international markets. The effects has rippled into the current regimes and underpinned by international capitalism power of industrialized countries such as USA and UK, accompanied by other countries such as Japan and other developed nations and now globally. It could be said that, this is globalization.

International regulations on food production and distribution weren't adhered by certain countries due to high cost of production as fossil fuel price increases. This has put more pressure on developing countries who depend totally on foods from these developed professional countries. For example, according to Jarosz, (2009), as the oil price increase, food price increases cause food crises. You will find no clear rules and regulation to regulate free markets and trades so that food price may be control to avoid continues food crises.

The rivalry of technology and food production to Safe guarding domestic markets.

The ideology of competing in food production technology also restricted free flow of scientific information sharing and result in the retrenchment of the production of food. The accumulation of capitalism during the third regime and continue to increase today has prodded the trigger for much more protection of domestic markets, and restriction on the flow of information on the production technology is seen as a priority for powerful countries. Jarosz (2009), remarked that during this time period, more emphasizes is placed on technology to increase the application of synthetic fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides to enhance water management and plant breeding targeted at increased yields.

The accumulation of competition in the production of foods and other goods and trades on earth market between industrialized countries has seen as an ignorance to stabilise food distributions to unprivileged parts of the world, specially the "Global South" countries. The rivalry in production technology was afflicted by a more recent regime embedded within the 3rd regime, a "green" environmental regime (green revolution) ideology bulged as pressure from the climate, financial and fuel crises accumulated through social movements. Social movements were formed and underpinned by countries who are afflicted by climate change crises mainly the third world or developing countries that continued to push for reduction on fossil fuel consumption. Even though measures were taken to addresses food distributions through establishment of institutions such as World Food Program (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and climate change issues addressed through earth summits, food crises still remain a dilemma for developing countries.

Personal Responses on the Influence of capitalism on current food crises.

I gives my personal view on influences of capitalism on current food regimes (environmental regimes). The trend in the governance of different food regimes has shifted very rapidly as economic power base of industrialized countries accumulated due to increase population growth. During decolonization periods, the rise of state- system may have triggered farmers to carry to their farms, a capitalism paradigm. Capitalism system started to emerge imperceptibly during the second food regime, due to free international market and free enterprise, and free flow of scientific and crop information. This scenario of free markets and information has foretold the future of food distribution and consumption of industrialized countries to be more aware of their domestic markets for local consumptions. Protection of niche market of products became a priority and allowing surplus of foods to have no choice but into international markets.

The ownership of the means of food production particularly, has explicitly spread worldwide and the rules and regulations governing the method of production has turned into a barricade free of charge market and trades. I see this as a counter - reserved to food distributions set alongside the second food regime periods. The international and national policies on food trades are becoming more complicated as private individual and corporations competed to safe guard their space in the international market domain for profitable return on their products.

Furthermore, taking a look at developing world, capitalism system has imprinted a far more essence of division between the rich and the indegent, in terms of food productions and consumption rate. In case the state systems of developing countries do not function properly in terms of safe guarding its people from the influence of capitalism, this triggered food crises as recently experienced in Venezuela and Yemen.

Conclusion (summary)

In conclusion, capitalism system has change just how humans occupied space and places. Monetary ideology is dominating how people behaviour from individual to international corporations. The governance power based on strict rules and regulations developed through each food regimes has shifted their state -system of unification which knowledge, skills and free market are shaded to a more imperceptible the one that are more restricted. For instance, policy to create tariffs and restriction to be able to safeguard domestic industries in powerful countries (Jarosz, 2009).

This essay has discussed two features of capitalism, namely the governance (regulations) during food regimes periods and the protectionism of production technology in International Food Corporation dominated by powerful countries which brings about rivalry or competition in technology on production. It is argued that rules and regulations set by industrialized countries or international organizations to be able to regulate food productions and prices has adversely impacted the way food is distributed and accessibility to the developing world. Food crisis continued going to parts of the entire world like the current food crisis in Venezuela and Yemen.

Protectionism of production technology by commercial countries does not enable free flow of information limiting knowledge and skill transfers to other countries. Competition in producing goods and services has resulted in more competitive markets and upsurge in prices of goods. For smaller island nations or developing countries to compete in international markets with big players such as USA, UK, Japan and other industrialized countries is beyond their capacities in conditions of resources.


Bernstein, H. (2015). Food Regimes and Food Regime Analysis: A Selective Survey.

Campbell, H. , Evans, D. , & Murcott, A. (2017). Measurability, austerity and edibility: Introducing waste into food regime theory. Journal of Rural Studies, 51, 168-177.

Friedmann, H. (1993). The political economy of food: a worldwide crisis. New left review, (197), 29.

Friedmann, H. (2005). From colonialism to green capitalism: Social movements and emergence of food regimes. In New directions in the sociology of global development (pp. 227-264). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Holt Gimenez, E. , & Shattuck, A. (2011). Food crises, food regimes and food movements: rumblings of reform or tides of transformation? The Journal of peasant studies, 38(1), 109-144.

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