Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This thesis examines the evolving policies and institutional arrangements in the Canadian agri-food industry; specifically an analysis of differential development between the dairy and beef livestock sectors. Moving beyond the pluralist and other alternative explanations for the development of marketing boards, an integrative theoretical framework which incorporates a broader conceptual and theoretical approach was adopted to investigate the role of producers, agribusiness and the state in the agricultural policy-making process for each agri-food sector. Two specific periods of conflict were examined, which represented significant attempts to introduce a marketing board as a means to resolve a crisis that was afflicting each industry. Using a dual content analysis approach, this thesis examined the background papers to (i) the Ontario Milk Industry Inquiry Committee, and (ii) the Commission of Inquiry into the Marketing of Beef and Veal, in order to determine the interests of each of the participants to the Inquiry, in relation to the policy recommendations and the legislative response.;From this investigation, it was discovered that the policy outcomes from each period of conflict were directed towards the combined interests of large scale efficient producers and agribusiness firms. In the dairy industry, large scale producers were advocating a joint proposal that would protect their own interests, while large scale processors were demanding the complete overhaul of the rigid and restrictive institutional arrangements that were maintaining inefficiencies in production and processing activities, and limiting the investment of capital. The state's response to the crisis was to introduce 'enabling legislation' for the complete rationalization of the dairy production process. In the beef livestock industry, producers were divided on the type of marketing system that would resolve a severe cost-price squeeze. On the one hand, large scale producers and agribusiness interests were requesting the modification of the existing marketing system; on the other hand, small scale producers and labour were demanding the development of a beef marketing board. The state's response was to modify the beef marketing system through the introduction of import quotas and stabilization payments. In both agri-food industries, the state response to the interests of capital, suggests that the institutional arrangements in the Canadian agri-food industry deserves more critical examination.



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