The essential ingredients of food regulatory governance

Christopher Arup, Jane Dixon, Jo Paul-Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


How does law regulate the system of food production and consumption? This study distinguishes three roles for law: supporting private regulation by industry through the market, supporting civil society co-regulation with industry and government, and supporting direct government regulation. This study employs empirical methods to assesses the progress of civil society co-regulation in three Australian cases where the public interest is at stake: added sugar nutrition, hen laying animal welfare and dairy farmer security. The study finds that support for the market regulation of the major supermarket chains remains the dominant role for law. Civil society co-regulation is making progress; nonetheless, it would have more impact if it had the support of government and law. Government is reluctant to give legal standing to the co-regulatory process and to legislate baseline standards. Beyond Australia, this study shows how all three roles of law are essential ingredients of food regulatory governance.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalGriffith Law Review
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • animal welfare
  • civil society co-regulation
  • farmer security
  • Law
  • public health
  • regulatory governance

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