File Download
  Links for fulltext
     (May Require Subscription)
Supplementary

postgraduate thesis: The ethics and business of organic food production, circulation and consumption in Japan

TitleThe ethics and business of organic food production, circulation and consumption in Japan
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Pan, J. [潘傑]. (2014). The ethics and business of organic food production, circulation and consumption in Japan. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5543985
AbstractThis thesis discusses and analyses the problem of food safety and the teikei (提携in Japanese)cooperative practices, which is usually translated as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)in English, in solving the problem of food safety in Japan from the perspective of economic anthropology. It is based on a case study on Kansai Yotsuba Association (KYA), one of the earliest teikei in Japan. Reviewing the practices and movements in dealing with food related problems, including the problem of food safety, the problem of food security, sustainable development for small farmers, small processing workshops and small merchants, I argue that the main challenges lay in the adjustment of food systems with cooperative approaches of basically four formats: cooperative practices of small farmers; co-op practices of consumers; teikei/CSA practices of the cooperative between small farmers and consumers, including the farmer’s market; and the further developed comprehensive practices of the Alternative Agri-food Network (AAFNs)and Alternative Food Networks (AFNs). This thesis’ main concern lies on the latter two formats of practices which also represent the KYA’s main fields of engagement. Cooperative practices are approaches to guarantee food safety and security through adjusting its format of production, procession, circulation and consumption, which used to be controlled by the market, under the domination of multi-national consortia of corporate agribusiness. The practices of teikei and AAFNs, the reciprocal cooperation of the direct distribution system between producers and consumers has shown us the deficiencies of the ‘invisible hand’ organizing economic behavior orderly in the market while raising questions of sustainability from an economic, social, cultural and ecological standpoint and challenged the basic premises of the “homo oeconomicus” in neoliberal economics. The cooperative movement and its practices have attracted multidisciplinary attention in academia, yielding insights from fields as diverse as economics, organization, agriculture, and social movement, as well as the anthropology of food. However, this latter approach tended to focus on cultural issues connected with food safety and food way, while ignoring the fact that food production is also an industry. To address this shortcoming, this thesis adopts/proposes an economic anthropological approach. At the same time, I argue that food production is more than an industry, because food production more closely resembles the exploitation of other natural resources (like oil, gas, coal, so on), in that its origins lie in nature, the soil, air, water. It is only after human intervention that plants and animals produce ‘food’, which is then subjected to business calculations, with the circle of input-profits-recapitalization-input, which is the common logic for other industry managed as a business. But as the primary goods, food is converted from natural ‘materials’, most of them are non-renewable; the ‘production’ of food needs to abide by ethical principles. Secondly, the logic of food’s circulation is different from other commodities, as the right to nutritional subsistence is tantamount to the right to live. As a result, the supply of food is a central public good, which needs to follow imperatives of fair distribution prior to assuming characteristics as commodities. Both of these characteristics of food have determined the distinction between food and any secondary good which is made of mainly reproducible materials. In this way, when food production and food distribution are run as businesses, we have to also take the sustainability of nature and sustainability of the concerned social groups into account. In a sum, food can’t be managed or treated as an ordinary industry. In stark contrast to the extraordinary nature of food, the empirical reality shows that the exchange of food in most areas on earth is being run as a kind of business. Bridging the gap between the ethics of food and the business of food has become a big challenge. The questions surrounding this challenge were a major source of motivation in writing this thesis. The following chapters seek to make an academic contribution to addressing them.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectCommunity-supported agriculture - Japan
Natural foods industry - Japan
Dept/ProgramJapanese Studies
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/225940

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorPan, Jie-
dc.contributor.author潘傑-
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-27T23:15:51Z-
dc.date.available2016-05-27T23:15:51Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationPan, J. [潘傑]. (2014). The ethics and business of organic food production, circulation and consumption in Japan. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5543985-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/225940-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis discusses and analyses the problem of food safety and the teikei (提携in Japanese)cooperative practices, which is usually translated as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)in English, in solving the problem of food safety in Japan from the perspective of economic anthropology. It is based on a case study on Kansai Yotsuba Association (KYA), one of the earliest teikei in Japan. Reviewing the practices and movements in dealing with food related problems, including the problem of food safety, the problem of food security, sustainable development for small farmers, small processing workshops and small merchants, I argue that the main challenges lay in the adjustment of food systems with cooperative approaches of basically four formats: cooperative practices of small farmers; co-op practices of consumers; teikei/CSA practices of the cooperative between small farmers and consumers, including the farmer’s market; and the further developed comprehensive practices of the Alternative Agri-food Network (AAFNs)and Alternative Food Networks (AFNs). This thesis’ main concern lies on the latter two formats of practices which also represent the KYA’s main fields of engagement. Cooperative practices are approaches to guarantee food safety and security through adjusting its format of production, procession, circulation and consumption, which used to be controlled by the market, under the domination of multi-national consortia of corporate agribusiness. The practices of teikei and AAFNs, the reciprocal cooperation of the direct distribution system between producers and consumers has shown us the deficiencies of the ‘invisible hand’ organizing economic behavior orderly in the market while raising questions of sustainability from an economic, social, cultural and ecological standpoint and challenged the basic premises of the “homo oeconomicus” in neoliberal economics. The cooperative movement and its practices have attracted multidisciplinary attention in academia, yielding insights from fields as diverse as economics, organization, agriculture, and social movement, as well as the anthropology of food. However, this latter approach tended to focus on cultural issues connected with food safety and food way, while ignoring the fact that food production is also an industry. To address this shortcoming, this thesis adopts/proposes an economic anthropological approach. At the same time, I argue that food production is more than an industry, because food production more closely resembles the exploitation of other natural resources (like oil, gas, coal, so on), in that its origins lie in nature, the soil, air, water. It is only after human intervention that plants and animals produce ‘food’, which is then subjected to business calculations, with the circle of input-profits-recapitalization-input, which is the common logic for other industry managed as a business. But as the primary goods, food is converted from natural ‘materials’, most of them are non-renewable; the ‘production’ of food needs to abide by ethical principles. Secondly, the logic of food’s circulation is different from other commodities, as the right to nutritional subsistence is tantamount to the right to live. As a result, the supply of food is a central public good, which needs to follow imperatives of fair distribution prior to assuming characteristics as commodities. Both of these characteristics of food have determined the distinction between food and any secondary good which is made of mainly reproducible materials. In this way, when food production and food distribution are run as businesses, we have to also take the sustainability of nature and sustainability of the concerned social groups into account. In a sum, food can’t be managed or treated as an ordinary industry. In stark contrast to the extraordinary nature of food, the empirical reality shows that the exchange of food in most areas on earth is being run as a kind of business. Bridging the gap between the ethics of food and the business of food has become a big challenge. The questions surrounding this challenge were a major source of motivation in writing this thesis. The following chapters seek to make an academic contribution to addressing them.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshCommunity-supported agriculture - Japan-
dc.subject.lcshNatural foods industry - Japan-
dc.titleThe ethics and business of organic food production, circulation and consumption in Japan-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5543985-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineJapanese Studies-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5543985-

Export via OAI-PMH Interface in XML Formats


OR


Export to Other Non-XML Formats