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From unfair prices to unfair trading practices: Political economy, value chains and 21st century agri-food policy


This article analyzes how value chains play a role in the political economy of agricultural and food policy by (1) discussing historical insights; (2) reviewing an emerging literature on political economy of trade policy and value chains and drawing implications for agricultural and food policy; (3) discussing market power issues with increasing concentration in agri-food value chains and its implications for government regulations; and (4) presenting a political economy case study of recent regulations that have explicitly targeted value chain structures in the agri-food sector: the EU regulations on “unfair trading practices (UTPs)”. The case study is of wider relevance since it addresses a key concern in global value chains.

Photo credit: FAO

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