Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1978

Published In

International Organization


The international system of production, distribution and consumption of food is managed by states, corporations and international organizations. International organizations play minor roles in the food regime, principally as arenas for policy coordination among state bureaucracies and as agents for modest multilateral programs. All of these actors work within the framework of aset of norms, rules and practices that constitutes a global food regime. Currently, the regime is undergoing change. Growing demand for food, tighter connections among markets, and greater reliance on technology have increased theimportance of international adjustments. American preponderance in shaping regime features and insuring food security through reserves has declined. The dramatic price rises and rationing of international food supplies that occurred during the "crisis" of 1973-74 exposed serious deficiencies in the existing regime. At least five world food problems--potential shortages, instability, insecurity, low productivity and malnutrition--continue as real or potential threats. To solve these problems the norms of the current regime that has existed since World War II are seriously under challenge. Re-evaluation and reform of the major principles characterizing the food regime are needed.


This work is freely available courtesy of Cambridge University Press.