Supplied by food businesses, foods could have huge effects on the health of a wide range of consumers, who take in them. For this reason, the work-related deviate behavior of food-business employees may cause extensive and severe health damage. Nevertheless, there are few studies relevant to the issue in Japan. The purpose of this paper is to reveal mechanism of generating deviance of food-business, through a case study of the mass food poisoning caused by the dairy processor on the basis of white-collar crime theory. I designed a model of the white-collar crime generating mechanism, which focuses on basic requirement of crime (motive, justification, and opportunity), organizational culture, trade subculture, and interaction among these factors. The article analyzed data from the decision and the investigative document of the Public Prosecutor's Office with the model, and obtained the following results. First, some deviances involve the motive (fear of failure) and justification, which are characteristic of white-collar crimes and which correspond to the above-mentioned model. Second, the leader of a plant, where the deviances occurred, had had a past experience of failure, which amplified his fear of failure at the incident. Third, it was suggested that the leader's fear would have promoted appearance of the plant's organizational culture which gave priority to cost reduction over product safety. However, I did not verify that the organizational culture existed in the third point. Additionally, the case included a particular type of deviance which the model cannot explain, which needs to be modified. These issues remain to be solved.
A significant natural disaster such as urban earthquake may deprive substantial numbers of people access to food or the means to prepare food. To mitigate nutritional risk and possible food panic resulted from the striking of earthquake, local governments encourage every household to stockpile food and water for at least three days. This paper assesses the supply of emergency food stored at household level, and identifies socio-economic factors affecting households' decision-makings on emergency food preparation. We conducted a large scale survey in Sendai City, Miyagi, where earthquakes of magnitude 6 or above have been occurring periodically. The results show that only 16 percent of the respondents keep a three-day supply of emergency food as recommended and that nearly 30-40% of the respondents are projected to be food insecure when lifeline utilities become unavailable. Emergency foods are more likely to be prepared by those (1) who take other prevention activities, (2) who live in a house, (3) who are concerned about earthquake disaster, and (4) who are careful about nutrition and health in an ordinary diet. To strengthen local food supplies in emergency, the involvements of local community and food related industry would be needed in anti-disaster management, thereby making food system more invulnerable to natural disaster.
Japan's Co-op is the consumers' organization with 24 million members and 3 trillion-yen turnovers in total. Two incidents in 2008, however, cast strong doubt on the “raison d'etre” of the co-op. First is the “China's poisoned dumpling” case. The dumpling was supplied as one of the co-op label commodities. Though the facts remain unproved, this case seriously damaged the “co-op brand”, which had been attracting consumers with “honesty” and “food safety”. Second is the world-wide financial crisis starting from the United States. It caused depression and underemployment, and shrank consumption in Japan as well. In this challenging situation, we must re-examine how and to what extent our co-op could contribute to the security and enhancement of the consumers' daily lives. Our co-op, Pal-System, has established a food-supply model characterized by kohai (non-store, individual home delivery) and sanchoku (direct transaction of produce). In this study, we verify the validity and possibility of this model from a food-system viewpoint.
Pal System has operated its business based on the merchandise policy, with a commitment to support various activities to vitalize regional communities. Strategies which Pal System has adopted to develop its own direct-from-the-farm system are the following: integration of merchandise and regional policy as well as promotion of mutual understanding between consumers and producers through workshop, expansion of its business into produce distribution and meat processing industries, and broadening of handling commodities in both areas, deepening of 4 criteria for the direct-from-the-farm system, and development of new business model with the prospect of resource circulation and environmental conservation. Pal System has embraced the direct-from-the-farm system as its major management strategy, and incorporated managerial resources of production centers into its managerial core competence. Among Co-operative Union, Pal System has developed one of the most advanced and comprehensive direct-from-the-farm system, and presents an important approach for establishing the food system where production and consumption are optimally connected.