Accounting, post-productivism and corporate power in the UK food and agriculture industry

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‘In modern capitalism purchase and sale of manufactured foods is as fundamental to social existence as the exchange of a whole gamut of other commodities’ [Giddens, A. The constitution of society. US: University of California Press; 1984, p. 259]. Behind the production of food are networks of people, transactions and accounting that have rarely been examined by accounting researchers. The ‘agri-food’ sector is conflict-ridden and affects all but a very few of the world’s population. This paper examines one segment of the industry – the UK – and explores certain elements that impact on the accounting environment of that industry. These are the move towards so-called post-productivist approaches by agricultural businesses and the considerable, yet not always obvious, influence of large agri-food corporations. The shifting asymmetries of power in the sector, which covers farmers, Government and an extensive service sector as well as corporations, are explored using aspects of domination in structuration theory, to elucidate the difficulties faced by farmers that force them to engage with accounting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-931
Number of pages27
JournalCritical Perspectives On Accounting
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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