Governance for food waste prevention in Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam: Achieving the right mix

World Food Policy所収
Volume (Issue): 7 (2) November 2021

This article asks how to achieve food waste prevention in Asia from a governance perspective by looking at Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam as case studies. Aligning stakeholders behind preventive measures on food waste requires a context-appropriate mix of hierarchical, market, and network modes of governance. This article analyzes current food waste governance in Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Japan, government-led hierarchical coordination primarily only emphasized horizontal coordination and later extended this into vertical coordination. The emergence of grassroots initiatives in the response to COVID-19 shows that network and market forms of coordination have greater potential to scale their reach to consumers than hierarchical coordination. Thailand exhibits a hierarchical orientation with little interagency coordination on upstream measures; market and network modes have compensated for limited upstream government efforts. Vietnam combines hierarchical and market modes only in the post-harvesting and manufacturing stages of food production and relies on network modes during community-level reuse and distribution. The article recommends that to achieve food waste prevention, other than introducing national government led hierarchical mode of coordination in vertical and horizontal levels, market and network-based coordination is essential to engage with different stakeholders in the food supply chain.