Maple Leaf Foods and the governance of food insecurity

Janes, Heidi M.A. (2022) Maple Leaf Foods and the governance of food insecurity. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This thesis examines the role of the Canadian corporation Maple Leaf Foods Inc. in ‘food insecurity (FI) governance’, defined as attempts by elite actors to situate themselves in powerful roles that promote treating the ‘condition’ of FI rather than addressing its structural roots. Drawing from literature on charitable food provisioning, three features of FI governance are identified as 1) locating FI within the bounds of ‘insecure’ populations, 2) ignoring power disparities, and 3) disregarding corporations’ positions in the political economy of FI. Through Clapp and Fuchs’ (2009) framework of corporate power in global agrifood governance, I explore how strategies of instrumental, structural, and discursive power have helped Maple Leaf gain legitimacy and authority in the food system, and are now used to bolster its charitable arm, the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security. Additionally, theories of strategic ignorance and philanthrocapitalism illuminate the Centre’s philanthropy as facilitating multistakeholderism in Canadian food policy. I show how Maple Leaf is governing FI through a Centre that upholds undemocratic approaches to FI solutions that further its corporate aims and shape policymaking agendas that are least likely to disrupt the food system status quo.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15757
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 105-122)
Keywords: food insecurity, governance, Maple Leaf Foods, philanthrocapitalism, multistakeholderism
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: August 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Maple Leaf Foods; Food security--Canada; Corporate governance--Canada; Nutrition policy--Canada

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