This chapter aims to show that the process of changing rules within the capitalist market system, specifically meat safety governance reform in New Zealand and South Africa, raises profound obstacles for human agency, yet opens new spaces for conceptualizing who participates in promoting change. Agency and structure are complex concepts with dueling tensions that alter the form and substance (as Wright and Middendorf argue in their Introduction to this volume) of individual and collective action in the red meat commodity chains of these two countries. We show that, far from being monolithic, the ways in which capitalism and a changing agrifood structure affect actors in a commodity chain, and the ways in which these actors respond, vary across time and space. We hope to make clear the ways in which structures affect agency, but we also aim to show how structural changes open new opportunities for agency.
Copyright © 2007 Pennsylvania State University Press. This chapter first appeared in The Fight Over Food: Producers, Consumers, and Activists Challenge the Global Food System.
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Tanaka, Keiko and Elizabeth Ransom. "Consumers and Citizens in the Global Agrifood System: The Cases of New Zealand and South Africa in the Global Red Meat Chain." In The Fight Over Food: Producers, Consumers, and Activists Challenge the Global Food System, edited by Wynne Wright and Gerad Middendorf, 247-72. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007.