Food has been one of the most debated and contested discourses in recent global environmental governance without this fact being reflected, however, in management and organizational studies (MOS). In this paper, we analyze the different positions taken in relation to the transnational agri-food system by the state sector, the private sector and civil society actors and we map key differences and similarities in the discourses of these groups at the influential 2012 Rio+20 Conference. Using neo-Gramscian discourse theory, we uncover the different politico-economic interests that exist and show how these different actors deal with the agri-food system. We demonstrate that international NGOs and grassroots social movements are very diverse in how they approach the question of food security, which in turn is reflected in how they vary in their approach to doing politics. This analysis contributes to our understanding of how hegemony is organized, highlighting the important role of different civil society actors in either maintaining or resisting hegemonic approaches to the transnational agri-food system.
Agri-food system; neo-Gramscian discourse approach; civil society; Rio+20; sustainable development