Jennifer Clapp is a Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and Sustainability and Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She has published widely on the global governance of problems that arise at the intersection of the global economy, the environment, and food security. Her most recent books include Speculative Harvests: Financialization, Food, and Agriculture (with S. Ryan Isakson, Fernwood Press, 2018), Food, 2nd Edition (Polity, 2016), Hunger in the Balance: The New Politics of International Food Aid (Cornell University Press, 2012), and Corporate Power in Global Agrifood Governance (co-edited with Doris Fuchs, MIT Press, 2009). Professor Clapp is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and recipient of a number of research awards, including a Trudeau Fellowship, the Senior Scholar Award from the Environmental Studies Section of the International Studies Association, the Innis-Gérin Award from the Royal Society of Canada, and the Canadian Association for Food Studies Award for Excellence in Research.
A shrinking number of ever larger “mega-companies” command enormous influence over the global food system. In this talk, Jennifer Clapp outlines the current status of corporate consolidation across the global agrifood system, examines its key drivers, and assesses debates over the implications of this trend for the future of food systems more broadly. She shows that a complex mix of technological and financial factors have encouraged this trend in recent years, and makes the case that food systems are being reshaped by corporate consolidation in ways that can undermine justice and sustainability. Policy and governance responses, she argues, need to be strengthened to address these concerns.