The agro-food industry, public health, and environmental protection: investigating the Porter hypothesis in food regulation
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- Giraud-Héraud, E., Ponssard, JP., Desgagné, B.S. et al. Rev Agric Food Environ Stud (2016) 97: 127. doi:10.1007/s41130-016-0011-8
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Sustainable food concerns have pushed public authorities to act by means of regulations, standards and other devices, and businesses to innovate in their products and production processes. We argue that the Porter hypothesis—which asserts that properly designed and implemented environmental regulation might be good for society as well as the targeted firms—might well be verified in this context. After reviewing and illustrating the working principles and main criticisms of this hypothesis, we provide a more in-depth discussion of nutritional issues. While the literature generally points to organizational imperfections and market failures to validate the Porter hypothesis, we submit and model another rationale for the agro-food industry, a rationale that is based on consumer behavior.