Searching for (un)sustainabilty in pangasius aquaculture: A political economy of quality in European retail

S.R. Bush, M. Duijf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on a political economy of food quality, this paper investigates the main sources of uncertainty over the environmental sustainability of Vietnamese pangasius catfish in European markets and how retailers subsequently respond to these uncertainties. Based on media survey and interviews with supermarket retailers across Europe between 2008 and 2010, the analysis focuses on the claims and counterclaims over the sustainability of pangasius aquaculture, how retailers have dealt with the uncertainty these claims have engendered about the fish, and what effect this uncertainty has had on the potential of marketing ‘sustainable pangasius’ in European supermarkets. The paper concludes that successful claims around new food qualities like sustainability by retailers are dependent on the ability of regulatory networks to overcome any perceived illegitimacy of imported products in the face of continuing uncertainty and the wider politics of market protectionism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-196
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • food system
  • agri-food
  • governance
  • standards
  • vietnam
  • catfish
  • market
  • risk
  • fish
  • conventions

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