Are companies alone willing to impose self-regulation to limit food waste or is pressure from the government and civil society necessary?
In a recent article published in Scandinavian Political Studies, Julia Szulecka and Nhat-Strøm Andersen look at the case of Norway to find out.

Julia Szulecka and Nhat-Strøm Andersens article is published in Scandinavian Political Studies.

The new article entitled ‘Norway’s Food Waste Reduction Governance: From Industry Self-Regulation to Governmental Regulation?’ results from research conducted in the BREAD project (Building Responsibility and Developing Innovative Strategies for Tackling Food Waste).
BREAD is one of AFINOs four satellite projects, coordinated by the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK) at the University of Oslo.

The paper provides an in‐depth analysis of the emergence and evolution of Norway’s food waste reduction governance, with the Industry Agreement on Reduction of Food Waste from 2017 as the main milestone.
Using the method of outcome‐explaining process tracing, it tests three hypotheses, identifying causal factors and mechanisms that explain the emergence of the Agreement, and applies a typology of (self‐)regulation to show how different actors and mechanisms played an important role in different phases of the process.

The main finding is that initially, food waste reduction governance was clearly industry-led. However, societal and political pressure was necessary for institutionalizing self-regulation and its timing.
Despite Norway’s tradition for co-regulation, in the wake of the Agreement, lawmakers continued to pressure the government for a binding law, with a clear move from initial industry self-regulation towards state-steered regulation.

This paper contributes to the still limited literature on food waste governance, as well as the much broader research on industry self‐regulation.

Read the article in Scandinavian Political Studies (open access):

Featured image: Julia Szulecka and Nhat Strøm-Andersen. Photo: UiO