How the Regulations of Food are effecting Agricultural Jobs
Food regulations make us feel safe and confident that the food reaching us is not harmful for our health. All governments have laws and regulations to ensure the food reaching consumers does not include substances and chemicals which are hazardous and critical for health. In addition to ensuring that food reaching us is toxin free, regulations not only require the food producing companies to list the ingredients present in their product, but also require them to list their nutritional value. This allows consumers to make rational decisions about which food to eat and which to avoid. Apart from ensuring consumer benefits, these regulations also have an impact on the jobs in the economy.
Regulations effect Production Cost
Regulations require different standards to be met in a product that reaches the market. This requirement in turn effects the way in which agriculture products used in making food items can be produced. This effect increases the cost of producing different agricultural products. For example, there are regulations which require food reaching market shelves to have a limited quantity of different hazardous chemicals. These hazardous chemicals are mostly those which are used in pesticides. Thus a farmer can now only use a limited quantity of pesticide on his farms which may result in pests, therefore reducing the farm’s yield as well as the farmer’s income.
Food regulations also impact agriculture related businesses like companies producing synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Regulations which require them to reduce hazardous chemicals in their products increase the cost of their products. This reduces their sales and causes them to cut jobs. Certain food regulations also impact the way food is processed. Therefore, businesses in the field of food processing are also required to make their processes more strict increasing their costs. An increase in cost results in lesser profit margins for these companies causing them to either reduce their wage levels or their number of employees.
New Investment in Different Fields
The positive impact of food regulation on agriculture and industries related to food and food processing is that it attracts new investment in these fields. As food regulation requires different chemicals and substances to be not present in food products, companies invest money to find alternatives to these chemicals and substances. This results in new jobs in these companies. Moreover, as regulation introduces strictness in food processing industry it increases the business of companies producing pollution control devices, fueling jobs in the industry.
Another impact of regulations is the shift it causes in the buying pattern of consumers. As food items produced using traditional farming methods become more costly because of regulations, alternative products become more competitive. Organic farming is an example of such an alternative method. Since, no pesticides and artificial fertilizers are used in organic farms; regulations do not increase the cost of products coming from such farms. Thus regulations spur the growth of sustainable farming such that more and more jobs are created by the industry.
In short, food regulations can have both sorts of impact on agricultural jobs. On one hand it reduces number of jobs in traditional businesses by increasing costs of their products. While on the other hand, it fuels growth in other sectors of the economy.