The Right to Food and Buyer Power

German Law Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 1190-1244, 2010

55 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2010 Last revised: 18 Dec 2010

Aravind Ganesh

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 29, 2010

Abstract

Modern global food supply chains are characterized by extremely high levels of concentration in
the middle of those chains. This paper argues that such concentration leads to excessive buyer power,
which harms the consumers and 
food producers at the ends of the supply chains. It also
argues that the harms 
suffered by farmers are serious enough to constitute violations of the international 
human right to food, as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and more specifically,
in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural 
Rights. World competition law regimes cannot ignore these human rights imperatives. To a certain extent, these imperatives can be accommodated under 
existing consumerist competition law theories by the interpretive mechanism of conform‐interpretation. However, when one comprehends the truly global scale of modern food supply chains, it becomes obvious that conform‐interpretation alone will not suffice. Instead, the protection of a minimum level of producer welfare congruent to those producers’ rights to a minimum adequate level of food must find a place among the aims of any credible theory of competition law. Moreover, the same globalized nature of these food supply chains means that current doctrines of extraterritorial jurisdiction of competition control have also
to be revised.

Suggested Citation

Ganesh, Aravind, The Right to Food and Buyer Power (November 29, 2010). German Law Journal, Vol. 11, pp. 1190-1244, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1718476

Aravind Ganesh (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

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